Commercially, The Super Mario Bros. Movie was one of 2023’s biggest successes, as its $1.3 billion global haul secured its spot as the second highest-grossing movie of the year, trailing only behind Barbie. Critically, on the other hand, the film adaptation of the popular Nintendo franchise split critics, with CinemaBlend’s review of The Super Mario Bros. Movie being among the more negative ones. With the movie a few months off from celebrating its first anniversary, Jack Black, who voiced Bowser, has now shared his take on the movie getting bad reviews.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Black joined the cast of Minecraft, yet another video game-related movie for his resume. While speaking with our sister sister Total Film about this upcoming project, the actor said he was ‘excited” to get to reunite with director Jared Hess following their time together on Nacho Libre, but he’s going to wait before predicting how it will be received among the public given how things went with The Super Mario Bros. Movie. As Black recalled:
They screened it for me a month before it hit theaters. I was like, 'We’ve got a hit on our hands.' I’m laughing and smiling the whole way through this movie.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie certainly had no trouble being a topic of conversation amongst the public in the months ahead of its release, although much of that revolved around the choice to cast Chris Pratt as Mario. Still, ahead of the public getting to see it, Jack Black was sure that this would be a critical success. Then April 5, 2023 came along and his prediction ended up not quite hitting the mark, with Black continuing:
And then it came out and it got horrible reviews. I was like, 'What movie did they see?' Luckily, the world didn’t listen to Rotten Tomatoes, and it was one of the biggest hits of all time.
To be fair, The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s 59% Tomatometer is a massive improvement over the 29% boasted by the live-action Super Mario Bros. released in 1993. But yes, the Illumination feature was far from a critical darling, though that didn’t impact its theatrical performance in the slightest. As Jack Black noted, people turned out in droves to see The Super Mario Bros. Movie, resulting in it becoming the highest-grossing movie based on a video game and the third highest-grossing animated movie, following behind 2019’s The Lion King and Frozen II. It also definitely played a key role in 2023 being one of the best years for video game movies and TV shows ever.
I’d be remiss if I also didn’t mention that The Super Mario Bros. Movie was a particularly special project for Black since it gave him a platform to belt out “Peaches,” the song he was initially apprehensive to sing, but was ultimately a hit, albiet one snubbed by the Oscars. As for whether The Super Mario Bros. 2 will happen, Black said in December 2023 that there’s only been “radio silence.” It’s hard to believe a movie this financially successful wouldn’t spawn a sequel, but we can’t officially say for now that it’s on the lineup of upcoming video game movies. However, we can look forward to fellow Nintendo property The Legend of Zelda jumping to the big screen.
If you’re now in the mood to stream The Super Mario Bros. Movie, all you need to do is break out your Netflix subscription. Otherwise, keep visiting CinemaBlend for any news about if a sequel or even a spinoff gets greenlit.