It’s still Mario Time at the box office.
The movie Super Mario Bros. topped ticket sales for the fourth straight weekend in theaters with $40 million, as worldwide haul for the Universal Pictures release topped $1 billion, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
The Nintendo video game adaptation dominated April in theaters, breaking records along the way. Over the weekend it faced few new competitors, though that will change next week when Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 kicks off the summer movie schedule and should move Mario to the side. The studios spent the last week at CinemaCon in Las Vegas promoting upcoming blockbusters and promising big summer box office returns.
The movie Super Mario Bros. was estimated to easily cross US$1 billion at the worldwide box office on Sunday, making it the 10th animated film to reach the milestone and the first since 2019. With a domestic total to date of US$490 million American, international sales are even stronger. The Illumination-animated outing grossed US$68.3 million overseas over the weekend, bringing its international haul to US$532.5 million.
Second place goes to Evil Dead Rise. The horror sequel from Warner Bros. held up well in its second week, especially for a horror movie, plunging 50% to $12.2 million.
Among the novelties of the weekend, the adaptation of Judy Blume Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret got away with it the best. The Lionsgate release grossed US$6.8 million from 3,343 locations, a strong debut for the US$30 million budget coming-of-age tale written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, who also co-starred. directed The Edge of Seventeen.
Are you there God? It’s Me, Margaret, the story of an 11-year-old girl played by Abby Ryder Fortson going through puberty, was particularly popular with women. With stellar reviews – 99% new on Rotten Tomatoes – and solid audience scores – an “A” CinemaScore – Are You There God? It’s me Margaret should play well on Mother’s Day.
Lionsgate also released Finnish action film Sisu in 1,006 locations. The film, about a prospector played by Jorma Tommila whose gold is stolen by the Nazis, grossed around $3.3 million. It was a solid result for the rare international film to receive a domestic opening. Reviews have been good — 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes — for writer-director Jalmari Helander’s film.
Sisu managed to top the heaviest new release of the weekend: Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Former and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World. The film, from Christian production company Sony Affirm Films, puts a religious spin on the sports biopic. But after receiving poor reviews, it didn’t do very well, grossing US$3 million from 3,054 theaters.
Nida Manzoor’s Polite Society, about a British-Pakistani high school girl played by Priya Kansara who dreams of becoming a stuntwoman, debuted with US$800,000 from 927 theaters. The Focus Features film, one of the stars of the Sundance film festival in January, mixes kung fu with Jane Austen in a story about London sisters.
One of the biggest hits of the weekend was a familiar force at the box office. The Walt Disney Co.’s re-release of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi grossed US$4.7 million from just 475 theaters. Disney has returned Jedi, the special 1997 release, to theaters to commemorate the 1983 film’s 40th anniversary.
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