Super Mario Bros Is Already More Successful Than Every Disney Movie

Super Mario Bros is projected to have a bigger opening weekend than every animated Disney film in history.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

The Super Mario Bros Movie kept making waves before it was released, and audiences were nervous about casting Chris Pratt as everyone’s favorite plucky plumber. In fact, most weren’t impressed with any of the casting other than Jack Black, and the recent news that critics hated the film was enough to make many fans think this film was going to be dead on arrival. But that couldn’t be further from the truth: Deadline reports that the movie is headed for a $368 million opening weekend, which is a stronger opening than any Disney animated film ever made.

Long before a new Super Mario Bros movie was even a twinkle in Nintendo’s eye, Disney made history with the release of Frozen 2. Even though fans and critics alike felt that the film didn’t live up to the original, it still brought in a cool $358 million. But this CGI Mario movie just shattered that record, and that’s in large part due to its international appeal.

You’ve probably noticed that, for better or for worse, modern blockbusters can’t achieve true global success without appealing to Chinese audiences. This has sometimes resulted in studios like Disney making tweaks to content (usually removing or playing down any LGBTQ+-friendly elements) in order to be shown in China. The Super Mario Bros Movie got the green light to premiere in China and quickly became the most successful opening for a movie based on a video game since the Warcraft movie brought in $210 million back in 2016.

chris pratt super mario movie
Super Mario

And if you grew up debating whether Sega or Nintendo was better on the playground, you might be interested to know that The Super Mario Bros Movie brought in more than Sonic the Hedgehog 2 did in America. Domestically, Mario is on track to bring in $195.3 million for his five-day opening compared to the $72.1 million Sonic brought in for his three-day opening. It’s not entirely fair to compare a three-day opening to a five-day one, but based on these numbers, we don’t think Sonic would have been fast enough to catch up to Mario even if he had a couple of extra days along with that sneaker power-up.

While news that the Super Mario Bros movie has already triumphed over Disney’s animated films is impressive enough, it’s perhaps even more impressive that this animated movie is outperforming the most recent movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We already knew that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was a critical and commercial failure, but it is eye-opening to see that its global opening only brought in $225.3 million compared to Mario’s $368 million. Normally, we’d have placed our bets on the more established film that is part of the biggest franchise in the world, but it’s now clear that audiences are tired of Marvel and ready for more adventures with Mario and his friends.

This alone may prove that James Gunn was right: superhero fatigue is real, and it’s already affecting the box office of some major blockbusters. And we wouldn’t be surprised if Disney wasn’t paying very close attention to the success of The Super Mario Bros Movie even as they make big changes to the future of the MCU. If the end result is that the MCU begins to get its own animated movies like Into the Spider-Verse, we’ll call that a “win/win” for everyone.