scorecardThe first movie to cross $1 billion so far this year wasn't a superhero movie — it's 'The Super Mario Bros.'
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The first movie to cross $1 billion so far this year wasn't a superhero movie — it's 'The Super Mario Bros.'

Will Gendron   

The first movie to cross $1 billion so far this year wasn't a superhero movie — it's 'The Super Mario Bros.'
Tech1 min read
  • 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' continues to dominate the global box office.
  • Over the weekend, its total gross surpassed $1 billion.

The biggest film of the year so far is not Marvel-related or a live-action sequel. It's an animated movie based on a decades-old video game.

Over the weekend, "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" officially surpassed the $1 billion mark at the global box office.

It's the first film based on a video game to reach the $1 billion benchmark, and the only non-franchise film to make $1 billion since the pandemic started.

The success of the Nintendo property could be indicative of superhero fatigue.

It grossed more than double the box office of the second highest-grossing movie of the year, Marvel's "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," per Box Office Mojo.

The now ubiquitous Marvel Cinematic Universe has not claimed the annual top spot at the global box office since 2019's "Avengers: End Game," per Box Office Mojo. And a 2022 poll showed that interest in Marvel movies was on the decline.

Despite opening to a $106 million domestic box office figure, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," has fallen short of expectations, failing to reach the $500 million mark, a rarity among Marvel titles, per Variety.

Even James Gunn, the co-CEO of DC Studios, acknowledges that the genre can get tired.

"If you don't have a story at the base of it, just watching things bash each other, no matter how clever those bashing moments are, no matter how clever the designs and the VFX are, it just gets fatiguing, and I think that's very, very real," he noted in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Beyond superhero fatigue, some audience members may just have long-movie fatigue. The shortest run time of last year's top films was 126 minutes ("Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness"). "Avatar: The Way of Water" ran 192 minutes.

Meanwhile, "The Super Mario Bros." has a tight run time of just 92 minutes. This allows Universal Pictures to pack more showings into theaters per day — and appeases those who have complained about long movie times.




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