Super Mario Box Office Hits $872M Globally, ‘Evil Dead Rise’ a Winner – The Hollywood Reporter

The box office continues to heat up as the summer season approaches.

Illumination and Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie remained a monster at the multiplex in its third weekend as it crossed the $400 million mark domestically and $800 million globally to finish Sunday with a remarkable cume of $871.8 million.

It easily won the weekend race in North America with an estimated $58.2 million from 4,350 theaters for a domestic cume of $434.3 million through Sunday. Overseas, it earned another estimated $70.7 million for a foreign total of $437.5 million.

Super Mario continues to make history. The pic supplanted Jurassic World ($46.4 million) to rank as Universal’s biggest third weekend in history. It was also the seventh-biggest third weekend among any film at the domestic box office after surpassing Spider-Man: No Way Home ($56 million), and the biggest for an animated title, not adjusted for inflation.

Other new records: Mario is now the highest-grossing animated film in Universal history at the domestic box office after besting Minions: The Rise of Gru ($369.7 million) and the third-highest of any Universal movie behind Jurassic World and E.T. The Extraterrestrial, unadjusted.

The movie adaptation of the Nintendo video game is playing more like an all-audience blockbuster than an animated tentpole thanks to its multi-generational appeal and will become the first movie of 2023 to join the billion-dollar club.

Illumination’s ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie.’

Courtesy of Nintendo and Universal Studios

Coming in a strong No. 2 at the domestic box office was Warner Bros.’ new supernatural offering Evil Dead Rise, the fifth installment in the cult series created by Sam Raimi. The movie opened to an estimated $23.5 million from 3,402 theaters, ahead of expectations and on par with the likes of recent horror hit Cocaine Bear. Overseas, it scared up $16.8 million from 58 markets for a global start of $40.3 million. Mexico led with $1.9 million, followed by the U.K. with $1.9 million.

Directed and written by Lee Cronin, the pic has been embraced by critics and earned a B CinemaScore from audiences (that’s a good grade for the horror genre). Males made up 58 percent of all ticket buyers, while the vast majority of the audience, or 67 percent, was between the ages of 18 and 34.

Evil Dead Rise stars Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland as sisters in a twisted familial tale of demonic possession. Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols and Nell Fisher co-star.

The movie was initially intended to go straight to HBOMax, but Warners switched course as part of its overall focus on theatrical, a mandate handed down when Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav took office.

Jake Gyllenhaal in GUY RITCHIE'S THE COVENANT, 2023.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Guy Ritchie’s ‘The Covenant.’

Christopher Raphael /© MGM /Courtesy Everett Collection

Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant also opened this weekend. Distributed by MGM, the military action thriller came in No. 3 with an estimated $6.3 million plus from 2,611 theaters on Friday. The well-reviewed film earned an A CinemaScore and drew in older consumers (27 percent of ticket buyers were 55 and older).

The Covenant stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a U.S. Army sergeant who goes back to Afghanistan to rescue his former interpreter, played by Dar Salim, from the clutches of the Taliban.

Lionsgate’s holdover John Wick: Chapter 4 placed No. 4 with an estimated $5.8 million from 2,685 locations for a domestic tally approaching $170 million.

Matt Damon as Sonny Vaccaro and Viola Davis as Deloris Jordan in AIR

Matt Damon and Viola Davis in ‘Air.’

Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Amazon and Ben Affleck’s adult-skewing biographical drama Air rounded out the top five with $5.6 million for a domestic tally of $41.3 million.

The big headline at the specialty box office is Ari Aster’s Beau Is Afraid, which expanded nationwide after scoring a stellar start last weekend in four theaters. The mind-bending film, starring Joaquin Phoenix, came in No. 9 with an estimated $2.7 million from 965 locations for a domestic cume of $3.1 million.

Elsewhere, specialty distributor Searchlight decided to open Stephen Williams’ Chevalier nationwide from the get-go. The period drama stars Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the famed French nobleman, violinist and conductor who was of mixed race.

Chevalier placed No. 11 in its debut with a projected $1.5 million from 1,275 theaters.

Chevalier Still - TIFF - Publicity - H 2022

Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges in ‘Chevalier.’

Courtesy of TIFF

Among specialty holdovers, the Picturehouse and National Geographic Documentary Films’ Wild Life conservation documentary continued to draw interest in its third weekend. The film earned $44,614 from 14 theaters for an early cume of $112,227 and enjoyed the third-largest weekend of the year at the Angelika in New York.

Wild Life has also done well at the Angelika Pop-Up in Washington, D.C., and boasts the second-highest gross of the year so far at Landmark’s Opera Plaza in San Francisco.

From Oscar-winning filmmakers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo), Wild Life chronicles the work of conservationists Kris and Doug Tompkins.

Wild Life

‘Wild Life.’

National Geographic

April 23, 7:20 a.m.: Updated with revised estimates.
April 23, 10 a.m.: Updated with additional estimates.

This story was originally published on April 22 at 7:44 a.m.

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