Disney CEO says Mario movie’s success ‘gives us reason to be optimistic about the business’
Bob Iger congratulates rival Universal for its latest box office hit
Disney CEO Bob Iger has praised Universal for the performance of The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Iger opened the company’s quarterly earnings call on Wednesday by saying that the Mario film’s box office success gives Disney confidence about the health of the movie industry.
“Good afternoon everyone,” he said. “Allow me to digress for a moment to congratulate Universal for the tremendous success of Super Mario Bros.. It certainly proves people love to be entertained in theaters around the world, and it gives us reason to be optimistic about the movie business.”
The film, which is a co-production between Illumination (Minions, Despicable Me) and Nintendo, has generated almost $1.16 billion globally since its release in early April.
It’s the biggest film of 2023 so far, ahead of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ($475 million) and John Wick: Chapter 4 ($406.6 million), according to Box Office Mojo. It’s also just the 10th animated movie to reach the $1 billion milestone.
As noted by CNBC, Universal has had several animated box office hits since the pandemic, whereas Disney has struggled.
Universal’s Sing 2 generated $408 million in 2021, while last year’s Minions: The Rise of Gru and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish brought in close to $940 million and $481 respectively.
In contrast, Disney’s Encanto made $257 million in 2021, and last year’s Toy Story spin-off Lightyear generated $226 million.
Disney’s upcoming slate of animated movies includes Pixar’s Elemental and this November’s fantasy film Wish.
Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto recently said The Super Mario Bros. Movie had exceeded even his tall expectations.