BOX OFFICE: “Super Mario Bros.” blow it all up, a $146 million opening weekend

“STOP the presses!” they’d yell in all the old newspapering movies of the ’40s whenever something extraordinary would happen.

But a bad movie blowing up the box office? Nothing to see here. Happens all the time.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” was always going to be a hit, with early expectations suggesting it’d hit $85 million on its opening weekend.

Oh no. The plotless video game that inspired a pretty much plotless, candy-colored turd of a movie left that prognostication in the dust before Friday even dawned.

It’s on track to have a $146 million weekend, says. And since it opened on a Wednesday and opened huge, it may reach as high as $200 million over its first five days — $195 being Deadline’s projection.

Pent up demand for animated family friendly fare, Illumination’s generally top-notch track record for kiddie entertainment (until now), all played into creating a blockbuster and a big payday for Nintendo and one of the most popular video games of all time.

I wasn’t the only one to call this thing a dog. But families want to get out, and nostalgic gamers must be showing up in some numbers, too.

It is on track to best “Frozen 2” as the biggest global animated feature opening of all time. Here’s how @BoxOfficePro called it.

The far more grown-up and more entertaining “Air” is doing OK. But $18.7 million over five days is nothing compared to “Mario’s” Friday take, with the “Bros.” pulling in nearly $60 million on that one day alone. Affleck, Damon & Co. sold a lot of tickets to a movie about the invention and marketing of a basketball shoe, a movie with no love story and no action beats. That’s impressive.

“Dungeons & Dragons” cleared $14 million on its second weekend, just behind “John Wick: Chapter 4” and just ahead of the other also rans.


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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