- Nintendo stock jumped on Monday following the successful release of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”
- The movie smashed box-office records in its opening weekend after generating $377 million in global sales.
- The successful movie release could lead to more of Nintendo’s content reaching the big screen.
Nintendo stock jumped 4% on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and its US-listed shares climbed 2.5% on Monday following the successful release of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”
The animated film, which has an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt playing Mario and Jack Black as Bowser, smashed box office records after it generated $377 million in global ticket sales over the weekend.
That made the film the biggest global opening for an animated film ever, and the success could help kick Nintendo into high gear in terms of monetizing what’s commonly viewed as one of the deepest vaults of high quality characters and stories, only rivaled by Disney.
The success of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is unique in that while it has a PG rating, it attracted more than just families to the movie theater. The movie also drew generations of adults that grew up playing different iterations of the highly successful Mario game franchise.
In other words: nostalgia drove much of the success in the movie’s release.
“The film is based on incredible IP, which is beloved by people of different generations,” Universal Pictures president of distribution Veronika Kwan Vandenberg said.
Other records broken by the movie include the biggest video game opening of all time, the biggest opening of 2023 so far, and the biggest opening of all time for Illumination, the film-making subsidiary of Universal that has found success with its “Despicable Me” and “Minions” movies.
And the success can continue in the near term as there are no blockbuster movies expected to be released in theaters for at least a few more weeks. Also, the movie has not yet opened in Japan, where it’s scheduled for an April 28 release, so that could help the longevity of the film’s success at the global box office.
“The box office just kept growing and growing. It’s a tremendous worldwide debut, and the movie has a clear runway,” Universal’s president of domestic distribution Jim Orr said.
There could be more Mario on the way following this past weekend’s success at the box office. Chris Pratt and Charlie Day, who voiced Luigi in the movie, hinted that sequels could come in the form of “Mario Golf” or “Luigi’s Mansion,” and that a post-credit sequence could foreshadow the plot for the not-yet announced sequel.
“Listen, there’s like, at the end of the film there’s a post-credit sequence that gives you a taste of what the sequel could be about. And that gets me very, very excited. But there’s been talk of Luigi’s Mansion,” Pratt said in a recent interview.
And Mario isn’t the only Nintendo character that might get its big-screen treatment down the road, especially after Nintendo entered into a licensing deal with Illumination in 2018. Since then, Nintendo added Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri to its board of directors.
While details of the deal between Nintendo and Illumination are not known, JPMorgan estimates that “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” could contribute as much as $300 million to Nintendo’s 2023 profits if the movie generates global ticket sales of $1.45 billion.
JPMorgan also said the success of the Mario movie could fuel sales for Nintendo’s Mario video games, creating a flywheel effect that benefits from more movie releases.
“We believe the movie could make a considerable direct contribution to earnings, but we also focus on the contribution to Mario-related sales, centered on games,” JPMorgan said in a Monday note.