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The Super Mario Bros. movie continues to garner applause from viewers. The movie adaptation of the mustachioed plumber from Illumination Entertainment featuring Chris Pratt hit two important milestones in one week.

Super Mario Bros movie

Super Mario Bros. became the highest-grossing animated film globally in its opening weekend. It has now displaced the 2019 Frozen II which previously held the record. Although the numbers are not yet in, Screen Rant is speculating that it will likely become the highest-grossing video game adaptation, trumping 2016’s Warcraft’s $439 global earnings.

Video game movie adaptations had a bad history of being commercial flops until the end of the last decade. Five of the ten highest-grossing video game adaptations were made in the last five years. This includes Uncharted featuring Tom Holland, Rampage featuring Dwayne Johnson, the 2019 Pokémon Detective Pikachu, and the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog and its 2022 sequel.

If there was any argument that the previous successful video game adaptations were mere flukes, the Super Mario Bros. movie has silenced the critics. What Illumination and Nintendo did differently this time was borrowing elements from the different Mario franchises including Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road.

Super Mario Bros. borrows from different spinoffs of the game
Super Mario Bros. borrows from different spinoffs of the game

If the Super Mario Bros. movie could set a high revenue value in its opening week, it will definitely set even higher standards by the end of its run. Mid- and post-credit scenes from the movie already suggest that it will have a sequel. Although we are not sure when that will happen, it will surely be one of the most anticipated animation sequels.

One thing to be gleaned from the success of the Super Mario Bros. movie so far is the possibility that cinema audiences are beginning to approach video game movie adaptations with enthusiasm rather than with a critic’s sword.

Super Mario Bros. theme inducted into the US Library of Congress

Super Mario Bros. or Ground Theme Nintendo music composer Koji Kondon, right, with other team members at Universal’s The Super Mario Bros Movie special screening (Photo credit: Valérie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)
Ground Theme Nintendo music composer Koji Kondon, right, with other team members at Universal’s The Super Mario Bros Movie special screening (Photo credit: Valérie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

The original Super Mario Bros. theme song composed in 1985 has become the first video game music to be inducted into the Library of Congress. The US national recording registry described the Super Mario Bros. theme song and others inducted in the registry as “the defining sounds of the nation’s history and culture”.

Officially, the Super Mario Bros. theme song is called the Ground Theme. It was written by the young Nintendo composer Koji Kondo. The song has been featured in different Mario-related franchises and is easily recognizable anywhere. It is not surprising that the library called it “the most recognizable video game theme in history”.

Other songs, albums, and recordings inducted into the congress

Madonna’s 1984 album ‘Like a Virgin’ and Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’ also made it to the library. A total of 25 albums, singles, and other sound artifacts that go back 100 years were inducted into the registry.

The oldest recording inducted into the registry was the first known recording of mariachi music in 1908 and 1909 by Cuarteto Coculense. Likewise, the youngest inductee was the 2012 Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra by the composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

The Super Mario Bros. theme song was not the only first to be inducted into the registry. Queen Latifah also became the first female rapper to get a space in the registry. Her 1989 album ‘All Hail the Queen’ which features the popular feminist anthem ‘Ladies First’ was inducted.

Arguably the most remarkable inductees were two non-musical entries. The first was a book recording by the astronomer Carl Sagan. The book, Pale Blue Dot, talks about humanity’s place in the universe. The other is the NBC commentaries and analysis from Europe during the run-up to the second world war in 1939 by Dorothy Thompson.

Will Super Mario Bros. be the inflection of video game movie adaptations?

Super Mario Bros. (Photo credit Nintendo)
Super Mario Bros. (Photo credit Nintendo)

With the success of the Super Mario Bros. movie, all attention will turn to the upcoming video game movie adaptations like Sonic the Hedgehog 3, BioShock, and Minecraft to see if they will sustain the tempo.

If they do, then video game movie adaptations may become Hollywood’s biggest subgenre. What will happen is that we may see more movie producers turn to video game stories for the big screen. Currently, superhero movies have been beaten to death and not many viewers want to see them again.

Most video game stories present a fresh perspective that will bring back the awe on the faces of cinema goes. It is just hard to tell how long video game movie adaptations run will be. However, we can bet that each successful outing will definitely spur another.

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