Super Mario Bros. Movie Named Most Profitable Film of 2023

The Nintendo adaptation brought in a lot of coins after expenses.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie was one of the biggest success stories of 2023. The Nintendo adaptation proved to be a huge hit with audiences, bringing in a worldwide box office of $1.36 billion. According to a new report from Deadline, the movie didn't just generate a ton of cash, it also was the most profitable film released last year. After breaking down the movie's revenues and subtracting its various expenses, Deadline estimates Universal's studio net to be an impressive $559 million. That number brings it in well ahead of Barbie, which took the second place spot at $421 million. 

Readers should note that these are estimates, so these numbers could vary from what Universal has internally. However, it does give us a pretty good idea just how valuable the partnership has been between Nintendo and Universal. The two companies finally announced a follow-up to The Super Mario Bros. Movie back in March, which is targeting a release date of April 3rd, 2026. At this time, details are very slim, but hopefully we'll learn more as the movie's release date starts to get closer. 

A Major Change for Nintendo

The success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie has led to a major change in direction for Nintendo. After the critical and commercial failure of the live-action Super Mario Bros. movie back in 1993, the company was understandably hesitant to allow additional Hollywood adaptations of its franchises. However, Nintendo has been increasingly looking for ways to expand the audience to people that don't play video games. The partnership with Universal has not only led to The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it's also resulted in attractions at Universal theme parks around the world

Nintendo has already seen some positive impact for its video game business as a result of The Super Mario Bros. Movie. During the company's financial results last November, Nintendo revealed that sales for existing Mario games on Switch had seen a notable increase over the previous year, while new users for Mario mobile games were up even higher. Nintendo directly attributed those increases to the movie's success, and that's not surprising as we've seen other successful video game adaptations do the same for games like Fallout 4

The Legend of Zelda Movie

In addition to Nintendo's partnership with Universal, the company is also working with Sony on an adaptation of The Legend of Zelda. At this time, details are very slim about the film, but unlike The Super Mario Bros. Movie, this one will be in live-action. The Zelda movie will be directed by Wes Ball. It remains to be seen whether the Zelda adaptation will find nearly as much success for Sony and Nintendo, but hopefully the two companies can come up with something that pleases existing fans and newcomers alike. 

Are you surprised by how well The Super Mario Bros. Movie did for Universal? Do you think the Zelda movie will be similarly successful? Share your thoughts with me directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp or on Instagram at @Dachampgaming!