The box office continues to heat up as the summer season approaches.
Lighting and Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie remained a monster at the multiplex in its third weekend as it crossed $400 million domestically and $800 million worldwide to finish Sunday with an impressive 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 has been replaced Jurassic World ($46.4 million) to rank as Universal’s biggest third weekend in history. It was also the seventh-biggest third weekend of any film at the domestic box office after surpassing it Spider-Man: No Way Home ($56 million), and the largest ever 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 beating Minions: The Rise of Gru ($369.7 million) and the third-highest of any Universal film behind it. Jurassic World and ET The Extraterrestrialwas not fixed.
The film adaptation of the Nintendo video game is playing more like an all-audience blockbuster than an animated tentpole due to its multi-generational appeal and will be the first film of 2023 to join the billion dollar club.
Arrived at a strong No. 2 at the domestic box office is Warner Bros. new supernatural offering Evil Dead Rise, the fifth installment in the cult series created by Sam Raimi. The film opened to an estimated $23.5 million from 3,402 theaters, ahead of expectations.
Directed and written by Lee Cronin, the picture was embraced by critics and earned a B CinemaScore from audiences (a good score for the horror genre). Men made up 58 percent of all ticket buyers, while the majority of viewers, or 67 percent, were between the ages of 18 and 34.
Evil Dead Rise starring Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland as sisters in a twisted family story of demonic possession. Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols and Nell Fisher co-star.
The film was originally intended to go straight to HBOMax, but Warners changed course as part of its overall theatrical focus, an order dropped when Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav will take over.
To Guy Ritchie The Covenant also opened this weekend. Distributed by MGM, the military action thriller is at No. 3 with an estimated $6.3 million plus from 2,611 theaters on Friday. The well-reviewed film earned an A CinemaScore and attracted older consumers (27 percent of ticket buyers were 55 and older).
The Covenant starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a US Army sergeant who returns to Afghanistan to rescue his former interpreter, played by Dar Salim, from the hands of the Taliban.
Lionsgate’s holdings John Wick: Chapter 4 put the No. 4 with an estimated $5.8 million from 2,685 locations for a domestic tally approaching $170 million.
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 was Ari Aster’s Beau was scared, which has expanded nationwide after scoring a strong start last weekend in four theaters. In No. 9 the mind-bending film, starring Joaquin Phoenix, with an estimated $2.7 million from 965 locations for a domestic cume of $3.1 million.
Elsewhere, specialty distributor Searchlight has decided to open Stephen Williams Chevalier nationwide from the get-go. The period drama stars Kelvin Harrison Jr. as the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the famous mixed-race French nobleman, violinist and conductor.
Chevalier placed the No. 11 in its debut with an expected $1.5 million from 1,275 theaters.
April 23, 7:20 am: Updated with revised estimates.
This story was originally published on April 22 at 7:44 am