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"Super Mario" and "Air" save the movies

Peter Howell

Movie Critic

The movies are back!

Proving there's theatrical life after Covid, animated kid flick "𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗼 𝗕𝗿𝗼𝘀. 𝗠𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗲" (review) opened to surprising box office of $204.6 million (U.S.) domestic and $171 million internationally over the five-day Easter break, for a global take of nearly $377 million. Along with a strong opening for the adult-skewing "Air," the results are welcome news for a film industry hit hard by the pandemic and streaming.

A faithful adaptation of the legendary video game, "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" features the voices of Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day and Jack Black. The film blew away not only its competition but also bad memories of a horrible 1993 video-to-film debacle, also called "Super Mario Bros."

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" also shattered expectations with its three-day weekend take of $146.4 million, making it second only to the 2018 bow of "Incredibles 2" ($180 million) for the title of best-opening animated film of all time. "Super Mario" did manage to go-kart past a previous record holder: the $135.1 million opening of 2016’s “Finding Dory.”

The sports docudrama "𝗔𝗶𝗿" (review), meanwhile, over-performed with $20.2 million over five days, a major validation of Amazon Studio's ambitious new plan to release some of its films to theatres prior to streaming them on Amazon Prime Video.

Directed by Ben Affleck, the story about the backstage maneuvering behind the groundbreaking 1984 launch of Nike's Air Jordan basketball sneakers — which rewrote the book on sport sponsorships — pairs actor/director Affleck with his close friend Matt Damon, along with Jason Bateman, Viola Davis, Chris Tucker and Marlon Wayans. 🌓


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