We’re only, like, hours into the weekend at this point, but it’s already becoming clear that we might have a problem on our hands with this Mario guy. See, The Super Mario Bros. Movie isn’t just doing well in its second week at the box office: It’s doing improbably, unexpectedly, super well, with a projected drop-off of just 45 percent in domestic returns from last weekend. (By comparison, Avengers: Endgame dropped 58.7 percent from its first weekend to its second; these are very good retention numbers, is the point.) That includes a continual domination at the international box office, which, all told, means the Mario movie is expected to have made something like $659 million, planet-wide, by the time Monday rolls around.
Which means we may be in horrible, terrifying reach of a world in which The Super Mario Bros. Movie makes more than a billion dollars, and, thus, ushers in a cinematic hell on earth the likes of which humanity has only rarely had to contemplate.
Basically, our worry here—and we admit that this is informed by a certain pessimism of the spirit, brought on by multiple decades of watching video game movies fail on pretty much every conceivable artistic level—is that if this damn thing breaks the billion-dollar mark, the deluge of gaming-flecked bullshit that’s going to start spewing out of Hollywood is going to be truly unimaginable. TV’s already primed the pump with The Last Of Us show, but if Mario breaks a billion, the next thing you know, they’re going to give Crash Bandicoot a movie. Do you want that, people? Do you want to hear Timothée Chalamet’s Crash Bandicoot voice? Because that’s the reality we’re now careening toward. Spyro The Dragon. Banjo-Kazooie. Fuckin’ Bubsy. We’re opening Pandora’s Box here, and Aero The Acrobat is lurking at the bottom. Turn back, before all is lost.