THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE has proven a boon for exhibitors around the world since it launched five weeks ago. Globally the animated smash from Illumination and Universal has already achieved an astonishing $1.156 billion. This makes SUPER MARIO BROS the first, of hopefully many, $1 billion release of 2023; the 25th highest-grossing film of all time worldwide, having overtaken CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR ($1.155bn); the second highest-grossing release from Illumination behind 2015’s MINIONS ($1.159bn), which it will surpass this week; and the 5th highest-grossing animated film of all-time worldwide, also behind FROZEN II ($1.454bn), FROZEN ($1.285bn), and INCREDIBLES 2 ($1.243bn).\\

The film released later than most markets in Japan, keeping space from annual anime franchise release DETECTIVE CONAN which traditionally launched in mid-April, but also hitting the Japanese Golden Week national holiday period which begins with Showa Day on April 29. MARIO also powered up the Japanese box office, scoring the 4th biggest opening of the pandemic-era in Japan with ¥1.84 billion ($13.77m) from a massive 1.28 million ticket sales; the #1 import opening of the pandemic; and the #3 import opening of all-time, behind only STAR WARS: EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE SITH in 2005 and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END in 2007!

Coming hot on the heels of DETECTIVE CONAN: THE BLACK IRON SUBMARINE two weeks earlier, which scored the second biggest opening of the pandemic-era with ¥3.15 billion ($23.75m) from 2.18 million ticket sales, THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE led Japan to achieve it’s biggest play-week box office since August 2019 (Aug. 10 2019 play-week – ¥12.22bn, when ONE PIECE: STAMPEDE and THE LION KING went head-to-head). Total box office for the April 28 play-week (Golden Week) reached a colossal ¥10.88 billion ($81.35m), with MARIO grossing ¥4.07 billion ($30.4m), supported by DETECTIVE CONAN (up +13% in week 3 with ¥2.58bn) as well as the film spin-off of popular local drama series TOKYO MER (MOBILE EMERGENCY ROOM), which delivered ¥1.67 billion ($12.45m) in its opening week.

Incredibly, THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE actually saw business rise +34% in its second weekend, with ¥2.47 billion ($18.5m). That would be equivalent to the best ever opening for an import title in Japan. The mega jump lifts the 10-day Japanese total to ¥6.54 billion ($48.9m). This already makes it the second highest-grossing import title of the pandemic-era, after only TOP GUN: MAVERICK ($107.7m). It also sees Japan already rank #5 among global markets for box office on the title, having played three fewer weeks!

With DETECIVE CONAN seeing a zero percentage change in weekend business week-on-week and TOKYO MER dropping just -7%, as well as GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 3 opening (and having to settle for 4th place on the local chart with $4.93m including previews), the market recorded an overall week-on-week gain for the weekend of +21%, which should result in another new pandemic-high play-week this week.