The Super Mario Bros. Movie has cleared another box office milestone, after it surpassed $500 million in North America this weekend.
That’s according to The Hollywood Reporter, which notes that the Nintendo adaptation is only the fourth movie to cross the half-billion mark in the pandemic era, following Spider-Man: No Way Home ($814.1 million), Top Gun: Maverick ($718.7 million) and Avatar: The Way of Water ($683.9 million).
The film, which is a co-production between Illumination (Minions, Despicable Me) and Nintendo, is the biggest film of 2023 so far, with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania coming in second and John Wick: Chapter 4 in third for movies released in 2023.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie has smashed multiple records since its debut in April, including becoming the first film of 2023 to clear $1 billion at the global box office. It’s the 10th animated film to achieve the $1 billion milestone.
It’s also the first Illumination and Universal animation title ever to surpass $500 million domestically, the second highest-grossing animated film of all time domestically, and the third-biggest Universal release ever behind Jurassic World and E.T..
Speaking to Japanese press ahead of the movie’s debut in Nintendo’s home country, Mario creator Miyamoto discussed its performance and the reception from critics, which he acknowledged had been mixed.
“I did have a level of expectations that this movie would also do well [like the Super Nintendo World theme park], but I was very surprised that it went beyond what I could have imagined when it finally came out,” he said, translated by VGC contributor Robert Sephazon.
“You need some luck to achieve this level of success for a film,” he added. “While many foreign critics have given the movie relatively low ratings, I think that also contributed to the movie’s notoriety and buzz.
“I’d be happy if viewers could say that the definition of what a movie is has changed because of this film. That just shows how lucky we were.”