Super Mario Bros. Movie Projected To Net The Biggest Box Office Debut Yet For An Animated Film

Illumination and Nintendo are yahooing all the way to the bank after "The Super Mario Bros. Movie's" record-breaking opening weekend. Prior to the film's release, it was all but certain that the animated flick based on the world's most popular video game franchise would be a money printer. However, the Chris Pratt-voiced film is moving past expectations, on track to have the biggest box office debut yet for an animated film.

Deadline projects a five-day worldwide opening of $368 million for "The Super Mario Bros. Movie." This trumps "Frozen 2's" ice-cold opening of $350 million in 2019, per the BBC. The pic grossed $55 million on Friday, a stellar opening thanks to Good Friday. Its total domestic debut is just shy of $200 million. The Mario and Luigi flick is expected to rake in $173 million internationally this weekend. Leading markets include Mexico and the United Kingdom. The film grossed over $5 million on Thursday in China — a decent opening that could have been better.

As it stands, "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" is on track to be the highest-grossing video game film of all time and it's not even close. The Numbers reports that 2016's "Warcraft" takes the top spot, with a $438 million worldwide total. "Mario" should cross that number, hopefully with the help of international markets, in the coming days. 

The Super Mario Bros. Movie still hasn't opened in Japan

All eyes are currently on Nintendo's native Japan, where the film will open on April 28, the start of the country's Golden Week, which consists of several back-to-back holidays. Several Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern markets will receive the film throughout April and May, meaning the film still has a slew of debuts to make.

How much will "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" gross? Estimates are all over the place, though optimists argue that the film could easily gross over $1 billion. The highest-grossing animated film of all time, not including 2019's "The Lion King" remake ($1.6 billion) is "Frozen 2," with a global cume of $1.4 billion. Should the "Mario" flick prove to have strong legs and lead to repeat viewings, it's possible that the film could at least go toe-to-toe with the "Frozen" sequel at the box office.

It remains to be seen just how popular the film is in Japan. 2019's "Detective Pikachu," another film based on a Nintendo property, failed to make much of a showing in Japan with a total gross of $26 million, per The Numbers. Domestically, it made a far superior $144 million. Only time will tell just how much of an impact "Mario" makes in Japan but with an international debut of $173 million, it's possible that the film could do gangbusters down there.