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Every Sunday morning, Hollywood studios release estimated weekend grosses for their movies. Those estimates are usually close to right — unless they have a huge hit or a huge miss on their hands.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie falls in the first category. Sunday estimates for the April 14-16 weekend showed the Illumination and Universal movie earning a jaw-dropping $87 million in its second weekend, besting Frozen II to score the best sophomore outing of all time for an animated film and the ninth best of any movie, not adjusted for inflation.
If that weren’t impressive enough, traffic on Sunday was bigger than expected. By Monday morning, final weekend numbers showed the movie actually taking in $92.5 million, the seventh-biggest second weekend of all time, according to Comscore.
And Super Mario fell a scant 37 percent to score the fourth-best sophomore hold ever for a movie opening to $100 million behind Top Gun: Maverick (-29 percent), Shrek 2 (-30 percent) and Frozen II (-34 percent).
Overseas, the returns are also remarkable. The PG pic crossed $700 million in worldwide ticket sales on Monday after finishing Sunday with a foreign haul of $339.8 million and $353.3 million domestically for a 12-day global tally of $693.1 million through Sunday.
The big question now is how quickly Super Mario will join the billion-dollar club at the worldwide box office. It will become only the fourth movie in the pandemic era to achieve the milestone behind Avatar: The Way of Water ($2.31 billion), Spider-Man: No Way Home ($1.92 billion) and Top Gun: Maverick ($1.49 billion), and there’s no telling where it finally levels off. To date, the roster of the nine animated films that have cleared $1 billion is topped by Frozen II ($1.45 billion) and followed by Frozen ($1.28 billion), Incredibles 2 ($1.24 billion) and Minions ($1.16 billion).
Super Mario smashed numerous records in its debut over the long Easter holiday as it surpassed Frozen II to boast the biggest animated global opening of all time and the second best domestically behind Incredibles 2. Mario continues to play more like an all-audience tentpole — and specifically, superhero fare — versus a family-friendly animated film rated PG. Analysts attribute this feat to the multigenerational appeal of Nintendo’s wildly popular Mario video games.
“As Mario continues his amazing cinematic journey, audiences clearly want to go along for the ride, and with an epic second weekend boasting one of the smallest drops for a movie opening with over $100 million domestically, the film is dominating the movie marketplace, redefining the box office potential for a video game movie adaptation and setting the stage for a perfect summer movie season,” says Comscore box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
Consumers between ages 18 and 34 — the most avid moviegoing demo — continue to flock to watch the pic on the big screen in addition to consumers in their 40s, along with parents and kids, according to exit polls.
This makes for the perfect storm and helps to explain why the only movies to have earned more than $95.2 million in their second weekends at the domestic box office were all-audience tentpoles that ultimately jumped the $1 billion mark globally, and in some cases, $2 billion.
Below is Comscore’s list of the top 10 biggest second weekends at the North American box office and their percentage drops, not adjusted for inflation:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, $149.2 million (-40 percent)
Avengers: Endgame, $147.4 million (-51 percent)
Avengers: Infinity War, $114.8 million (-55 percent)
Black Panther, $111.7 million (-47 percent)
Jurassic World, $106.6 million (-49 percent)
The Avengers, $103.1 million (-50 percent)
The Super Mario Bros. Movie, $92.5 million (-37 percent)
2017’s Beauty and the Beast, $90.4 million (-48 percent)
Top Gun: Maverick, $90 million (-29 percent)
Frozen II, $85.9 million (-34 percent)
April 19, 9:50 a.m.: Story corrected to include Avatar: The Way of Water.
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