Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Super Mario Sets Record in Its Second Weekend

Mario and friends earned the best second weekend total of any animated film ever as the film continues to climb towards the $1 billion mark worldwide.

by | April 17, 2023 | Comments


It’s Mario’s world and we’re just living in it right now. Add up everything else in the top ten and it does not come close to the numbers families are putting up for their kids right now for the critically-mixed animated effort from Illumination. Although that mostly goes without saying. All of it. By this time next week the animation studio will have its highest domestic-grossing film in their history and we will know if there were enough horror fans out there to dethrone the racing plumber in its third weekend. Certainly nothing new challenged it this week.

King of the Crop: Super Mario Sets Record in Second Weekend

Among the 12 best second weekends for an animated film ever, nine featured drops lower than 50% and five of them were under 40%. The Super Mario Bros. Movie easily cleared the latter category with a 36% drop this weekend. With an estimated $92.5 million, it now owns the best second weekend ever for any animated film ahead of Frozen II ($85.9 million), Incredibles 2 ($80.3 million), Finding Dory ($72.9 million), and Shrek 2 ($72.1 million). $93 million is also the seventh-best second weekend of all time, coming up ahead of Beauty and the Beast’s $90.4 million in 2017 and Top Gun: Maverick’s $90.03 million from just last year. Now at $353+ million, that is also the second-best 12-day total for an animated film ever behind only Incredibles 2 ($373.9 million) and ahead of Finding Dory ($311.1 million). Those are the only animated films to cross $300 million in 12 days or less.

Now Super Mario is on a quest for half a billion in domestic dollars. It has already crossed that number worldwide and then some as it heads towards a cool billion, but let’s stay home for just a second. The film is already $41+ million ahead of the pace of Finding Dory, which finished its run with $486 million. That is a nice place to be. While it is impressive to rank second all-time on the animated front, it is just as impressive to have the 12th-best 12-day total ever at the box office. Avengers: Age of Ultron is the only film to have grossed over $320 million in 12 days and not reach $500 million. Consequently, of the top 15 animated films of all time, only two (Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third) failed to gross $500 million on the international front. Super Mario was nearly halfway there as of Thursday. By Sunday’s end, its total there was at $330 million. Betting against the film making its way into the billion-dollar club would be a huge mistake at this point.

Rotten Returns: Renfield Fails to Scare Up Solid Numbers

Either Nicolas Cage fans did not show up this weekend or there are not as many as one might assume – or they simply have kids and had to take them to Super Mario. Whatever the reason, Renfield could not top a film about a shoe or even the horror competitor that was not screened for critics stateside. $7.7 million is barely better than last April’s Cage-as-himself comedy, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which opened to $7.1 million. The big difference is that film came with a pricetag of $30 million, and Renfield is reported to have cost $65 million and may barely make 20. Universal was stuck between the star of The Rock and a hard place on this one, opening in the wake of their own Super Mario (vastly different audience, but still) and seeing Evil Dead Rise creeping up the following week, not to mention Sony moving The Pope’s Exorcist right into the same weekend and splitting their own audience. Renfield is teetering right below a Fresh rating at 59% on the Tomatometer right now, but Universal will be looking to close the books on this one very soon.

The Top 10 and Beyond: The Pope’s Exorcist Wins Horror Battle, Dungeons & Dragons Falls Further

The Pope’s Exorcist comes from Julius Avery, whose $100 million production Samaritan with Sylvester Stallone was relegated to Amazon streaming. Avery’s last theatrical release was the WWII monster film Overlord. That $38 million production opened to $10.2 million and finished with $21.7 million. The Pope’s Exorcist with Russell Crowe managed to surprise people and best Renfield with $9.1 million. The numbers may not seem all that compelling, but when your film cost just $18 million and you have already made another $27.4 million overseas, profit is right around the corner. Give or take another $17-18 million on this one, which is currently Rotten at 48% on the Tomatometer, and Sony can say “Who needs critics?”

John Wick: Chapter 4 fell back to third in its fourth weekend and grabbed another $7.9 million. That brings its total to $160 million, the 16th-best for a March release after 24 days. It is still about $13 million ahead of the pace of Kong: Skull Island even though that film had an $8.5 million fourth frame. That keeps Wick on the path to finish between $175-180 million. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is going to make around $100 million less. It’s the uncomfortable truth for the Paramount wannabe franchise as it fell to $7.3 million this weekend and, even worse, is on the pace of 2017’s Power Rangers. That film was at $75 million after 17 days with a $6.1 million third weekend. Dungeons is at $74 million and is on the path to finish around $85 million domestic. Add in just another $83 million overseas and there is no avoiding that this is going to be one of the biggest bombs of 2023.

Ben Affleck’s Air came up just about $10,000 shy of second place last week behind ol’ John Wick. This week it was about $50,000 behind Renfield in fifth place with $7.7 million, 46% below last week’s haul. That brings its 12-day total to $33.2 million. That is a bit behind where Affleck was in Changing Lanes back in 2002 (a $34.2 million 12-day total with an $11 million second weekend). Air now looks more in the realm of his Armageddon and Pearl Harbor director Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain, which had $35.3 million and a $7.5 million second frame. If Air can hold at least as well, its going to be in the vicinity of $48-52 million by the end of its run.

Among other new releases this week there is Crunchyroll’s release of the animated Suzume from Makoto Shinkai, the director of Your Name. It grossed $2.8 million in 2,170 theaters for just a $1,304 per-theater-average. Bleecker Street’s release of Catherine Hardwicke’s Mafia Mamma, Rotten at 21% on the Tomatometer, grossed just $2 million in 2,002 theaters for a $1,021 per-theater average. The faith-based horror film Nefarious, from the makers of God’s Not Dead, made $1.3 million in 933 theaters for a $1,425 PTA. The basketball drama Sweetwater lowballed them all, though, with just $350,000 in 1,204 theaters for a $290 PTA.

Ari Aster’s Beau Is Afraid, on the other hand, opened in 4 theaters and pulled in $320,396. That’s an $80,099 PTA, which ranks as one of the highest since 2020 behind only Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza ($86,289) and the two-theater release of Louis C.K.’s Fourth of July ($109,361). The already divisive nightmarish horror comedy opens wider next week. A24’s releases of Aster’s Hereditary and Midsommar grossed $44 million and $27.4 million, respectively.

On the Vine: Evil Dead Plans to Rise Again

Apart from Beau being afraid in more theaters, Warner Bros. is hoping to scare up the horror crowd with Evil Dead Rise. It may not be the challenger to take down Mario, but it should be a healthy No. 2 next week. Guy Ritchie then has his second release of the year with the military thriller The Covenant with Jake Gyllenhaal. It will be hoping for a third-place finish.

Full List of Box Office Results: April 14-16, 2023

  • $92.5 million ($353.3 million total)

  • $9.1 million ($9.1 million total)

  • $7.9 million ($160.1 million total)

  • $7.77 million ($7.77 million total)

  • $7.72 million ($33.2 million total)

  • $7.3 million ($74 million total)

  • $2.8 million ($2.8 million total)

  • $2 million ($2 million total)

  • $1.4 million ($106.7 million total)

  • $1.3 million ($1.3 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

Thumbnail image by ©Universal Pictures

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