Nintendo Cites ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ For Upping Q1 Hardware, Software Revenue, Profit

Video game giant Nintendo Aug. 3 cited the box office success of Universal Pictures’ The Super Mario Bros. Movie for contributing to the company’s first quarter, ended June 30, increase in Nintendo Switch player unit sales and software revenue. Nintendo owns the “Super Mario Bros.” intellectual property rights.

The company said the April release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie positively impacted sales of all “Mario” related titles, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe recording sales of 1.67 million units (for cumulative sales of 55.46 million units) in the quarter due to the movie.

Nintendo Switch hardware unit sales increased 13.9% year-on-year to 3.91 million units, and software unit sales increased 26.1% year-on-year to 52.21 million units.

Nintendo said the launch of the Switch video game title The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (released in May) got off to a good start, generating sales of 18.51 million units.

Digital revenue increased 35.9% year-over-year to 119.6 billion yen ($840 million), helped by the depreciation of the yen to the U.S. dollar. That combined with strong sales of packaged software for the Nintendo Switch and increased sales related to Nintendo Switch Online.

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In the mobile and IP related business, the combination of an increase in income from royalties from The Super Mario Bros. Movie resulted in overall sales of 31.8 billion yen ($223.3 million), an increase of 190.1% year-over-year.

Nintendo said overall Q1 revenue reached 461.3 billion yen ($3.24 billion), with sales outside Japan of 369 billion yen ($2.59 billion), accounting for 80% of that total. Operating profit came to 185.4 billion yen ($1.3 billion). With the depreciation of the yen in foreign exchange markets, Nintendo said it recorded foreign exchange gains of 47.2 billion yen ($331.4 million), upping gross profit to 253.7 billion yen ($1.78 billion), and net profit attributable to 181 billion yen ($1.27 billion).

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Universal;
Animated;
Box Office $572.97 million;
$34.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $49.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG’ for action and mild violence.
Voices of Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy, Keegan-Michael Key, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Fred Armisen, Sebastian Maniscalco, Kevin Michael Richardson, Khary Payton, Charles Martinet.

Most movies based on video games tend to be unsatisfying because the process of Hollywood writers digesting the essence of the game for mainstream audiences usually makes the final product unrecognizable to the games’ fans.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie bucks that trend by essentially just putting a video game on the big screen. The film takes iconic elements straight from several video games connected to the “Super Mario Bros.” franchise and condenses them into a single narrative. And in doing so, the film isn’t trying to be anything more than what it is — an adaptation of a series of video games about a pair of plumbers fighting a fire-breathing turtle king in a land of magic mushrooms.

It gets away with such a distillation because the animation lends itself to the bright flashy visual splendor of the games and doesn’t create an expectation of realism, which is the trap most game adaptations fall into. The 1993 live-action version of Super Mario Bros., for instance, was an unmitigated disaster because it reinterpreted the concept into an action sci-fi movie.

The animated version features brothers Mario and Luigi (voiced by Chris Pratt and Charlie Day) struggling to establish their own plumbing business when by happenstance they find themselves sucked through a pipe into a fantasy realm of strange creatures where the laws of physics no longer apply. When Luigi is captured by Bowser (Jack Black), Mario teams with Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) to rescue him and prevent the king of the Koopas from dominating the magical realms.

Everything in the fantasy kingdoms works just like it does in the video games, with power-ups that give characters boosts in strength and speed that come from floating bricks with question marks on them. The film doesn’t dwell on why everything looks like it does from the video games because it’s easy enough to accept that the Mario Bros. have simply been sucked into Nintendo World.

From there, the film features a ton of references to various “Mario” properties over the years, from his 1981 debut in Donkey Kong to Mario Kart, more than enough to satisfy most fans of the games. For older fans, there’s a reference to the rap intro of the 1989 “Super Mario Bros. Super Show” starring Capt. Lou Albano, so what’s not to love? The score is even design to incorporate beloved musical themes from the “Super Mario” games, which only adds to the nostalgia factor.

And since the Mario Bros. have had a ubiquitous presence in pop culture for the past 40 years, being a hardcore fan of the games isn’t a requirement to enjoy what turns out to be an entertaining movie in general.

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The “Power Up Edition” Blu-ray includes a number of fun featurettes about the making of the film.

The 18-minute “Getting to Know the Cast” offers several vignettes profiling the voice actors and the roles they play. The 27-minute “Leveling Up: Making The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is a six-part look at the production, which was overseen by Nintendo to make sure it didn’t stray too far from its video game roots; included is a look at various Easter Eggs in the film, particularly to some of the non-“Mario” Nintendo games referenced.

The seven-minute “The Super Mario Bros. Movie Field Guide” features various cast members explaining elements from the game depicted in the film, while the three-minute “Leadership Lessons” has Anya Taylor-Joy describing five lessons that make Peach an effective princess for her people.

Rounding out the package is a sing-along music video of Jack Black singing Bowser’s song “Peaches.”

In the 4K combo pack, the full extras are included on both the 4K disc and the regular Blu-ray.

‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Powers Up on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Disc June 13

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment June 13 will release The Super Mario Bros. Movie on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and for regular digital purchase.

The animated film based on Nintendo’s “Super Mario Bros.” video game franchise has earned $566.3 million at the domestic box office and $1.3 billion worldwide, making it the top film of 2023 so far.

In the film, Brooklyn brothers Mario and Luigi are struggling to keep their plumbing business afloat when they are thrust on a whirlwind adventure through Mushroom Kingdom, encountering a cast of familiar characters from the video games.

The voice cast includes Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Jack Black and Fred Armisen.

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Bonus materials in the home video “Power Up Edition” include:

  • “Leveling Up: Making The Super Mario Bros. Movie” behind-the-scenes documentary;
  • “Getting to Know the Cast” featurettes;
  • “The Super Mario Bros. Movie Field Guide,” in which the cast guides viewers through the various Power-Ups and Bonuses that appear in the film. This immersive video will allow the cast to interact with custom on-screen graphics as they select a Bonus or Power Up specific to their character and then explain what it does, how to use it and its effects;
  • “Leadership Lessons With Anya Taylor-Joy,” in which the actress presents Princess Peach’s guide to being an awesome leader with real-life tips and power-ups that kids of all ages can use in their daily lives; and
  • “Peaches” Lyric Video, a sing-along with Jack Black as Bowser during his big musical number.

‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Available for Premium Digital Rental and Purchase May 16

Nintendo and Illumination’s animated blockbuster The Super Mario Bros. Movie will be available for premium digital rental (PVOD) and premium digital purchase (PEST) May 16 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Generating more than a billion dollars at the box office worldwide, the film features the voices of Chris Pratt (“Jurassic World” franchise), Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” The Lego Movie), Anya Taylor-Joy (Last Night in Soho, ‘The Queen’s Gambit”), Keegan-Michael Key (“Key & Peele”), Seth Rogan (Neighbors, An American Pickle), Jack Black (“Kung Fu Panda” franchise) and Fred Armisen (“Wednesday,” “Portlandia”).

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The movie, based on the video game, tells the story of two Brooklyn plumbers who are brothers and best friends: Mario, the brave one with the “let’s-a go” attitude, and the perpetually anxious Luigi, who would prefer to go nowhere. It opens with the Super Mario Brothers reckoning with their struggling plumbing business, and wind up in a whirlwind adventure through Mushroom Kingdom. Through their journey, they meet a cast of familiar, lovable characters, ultimately uniting together to defeat the power-hungry villain, Bowser.

Nintendo Posts 22% Switch Hardware Unit Sales Decline

Video game hardware/software manufacturer/publisher Nintendo May 9 announced that it sold almost 18 million Switch consoles in the fiscal year ended March 31. The tally fell 22.1% from around 23 million units sold in the prior fiscal year.

Nintendo attributed the unit sales drop to shortages of semiconductors and other components that impacted production until around the end of summer.

“We did not experience the growth in sales mainly during the winter holiday season that we saw in the previous fiscal year,” the company said in a statement. “The sales situation for software remained stable, but unit sales declined 9% year-on-year to 213.96 million units, affected to some extent by the decline in hardware sales.”

On the flipside, Nintendo-branded software titles flourished. The company posted strong sales with 35 titles selling 1 million units each.

Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet recorded combined unit sales of 22.1 million units, and Splatoon 3 sold 10.67 million units. Other new titles released during the year included Nintendo Switch Sports, which sold 9.6 million units.

Among titles released through the end of the previous fiscal year, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold 8.45 million units (for cumulative sales of 53.79 million units) and Kirby and the Forgotten Land (cumulative sales of 6.46 million units).

Finally, current box office blockbuster The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which was released in theaters in April, has topped more than $1 billion in global ticket sales. Nintendo said the movie underscores its ongoing efforts to expand consumer access to Nintendo IP.

“Through initiatives like this, we will work to continually grow our dedicated video game platform business, which is our core business,” Nintendo said.

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Microsoft to Enable Xbox Games Play on Rival Nintendo Platform

Microsoft Feb. 21 announced it would allow its Xbox video games on the rival Nintendo platform. Brad Smith, vice chairman and president of the software giant, made the announcement of the 10-year partnership between the two gaming companies on social media.

Key to the deal would be the availability of Activision titles on Nintendo, including all “Call of Duty” titles, one of the all-time most-popular game franchises. Microsoft is currently facing some pushback from regulators in Europe and the U.S. regarding its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision.

Smith and a reported 18 executives from Microsoft and Activision were set to meet Feb. 21 with European Union regulators, according to Reuters. Representatives from Sony Interactive Entertainment. Google and Entertainment Arts (EA), which all oppose the merger, are also set to attend.

Wall Street investment firm Deutsche Bank Feb. 16 issued a note underscoring the importance key video game franchises play in the current gaming market.

“December quarter results for the major U.S. video game publishers demonstrated that, across the industry, consumer spending patterns are getting weaker overall, and users are increasingly gravitating towards the biggest franchises and the most well known IP,” analyst Benjamin Soff wrote.

In its most-recent fiscal period, Activision reported a 43% uptick in video game license revenue to $3.75 billion, from $2.5 billion in the previous-year period — led by “Call of Duty.”

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Anime App Crunchyroll Launches on Nintendo Switch

The Crunchyroll anime app launched worldwide Feb. 17 on the Nintendo Switch.

Viewers have access to more than 1,000 series and 30,000 episodes on the Crunchyroll app, including “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” and “One Piece,” through their Nintendo Switch console either docked at home or taken on the go with offline viewing support.

With this launch, Crunchyroll will become the first streaming application to offer offline viewing on the Nintendo Switch, and one of a limited number of SVOD apps on the gaming console, according to the service.

The Crunchyroll app offers ad-supported anime or, through a Crunchyroll subscription, unlimited ad-free anime, with simulcast series streaming day and date with premiere in Japan.

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Powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine technology, the application allows users to watch anime in TV mode, with their console docked and plugged into a television; in tabletop mode, which allows them to share their anime with others; or in handheld mode, to pick up and experience with Joy-Con controllers attached.

Crunchyroll is also available through iOS and Android mobile and tablet devices, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Chromecast.

Crunchyroll connects anime and manga fans across 200-plus countries and territories. In addition to free ad-supported and subscription premium content, Crunchyroll offers the anime community social engagement, events, games, consumer products, content distribution and creation, and manga publishing.

Crunchyroll was acquired in August 2021 by Funimation Global Group, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment Japan.

 

Voice Cast, Release Date Disclosed for ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Animated Theatrical Movie

Animation studio Illumination (Minions) and Nintendo announced that their new movie based on the video game world of Super Mario Bros. will be released worldwide during the 2022 holiday season. Universal Pictures will release the title in North America on Dec. 21, 2022, with the release schedule for additional countries and regions to be announced at a future date. The film will be co-financed by Universal Pictures and Nintendo.

Voice actors include Chris Pratt (Mario), Anya Taylor-Joy (Princess Peach), Charlie Day (Luigi ), Jack Black (Bowser), Keegan-Michael Key (Toad), Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong), Fred Armisen (Cranky Kong), Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek) and Sebastian Maniscalco (Spike).

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The screenplay will be written by Matthew Fogel, whose writing credits include The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and the upcoming Illumination film Minions: The Rise of Gru.

Shigeru Miyamoto, co-creator of Super Mario Bros., and fellow of Nintendo, said production on the movie has been “constructive and going very well,” with representatives from Illumination and Nintendo “learning a lot from each other.”

“We humbly ask that fans wait just a little longer for the premiere, and we hope they look forward to seeing the unique characters from Super Mario Bros. on the big screen,” Miyamoto said in a statement.

Super Mario Bros. is considered one of greatest-selling video game franchises since launching in 1985 as a successor to the Mario Bros. arcade game.

NPD: July Video Game Sales Increased 10% to Record $4.6 Billion

Following a brief downturn in April, sales of video games, hardware and accessories rose 10% in July to a record $4.6 billion, compared with revenue of $4.18 billion in July 2020 at the height of the pandemic, according to new data from The NPD Group.

Spurred by greater availability of new-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony, hardware sales skyrocketed 98% to $323 million — the best July sales tally since 2008. Hardware sales topped $161 million in the previous-year period. Year-to-date spending on consoles through July is up 50% to $2.7 billion from $1.81 billion in 2020.

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Game software sales rose 6% to $4 billion, from $3.7 billion in 2020. Year-to-date revenue rose 12% to $29.45 billion, from $26.29 last year. The top-selling game in July was Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, followed by perennial chart topper Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War from Activision.

Total consumer spending on gaming for seven months reached $33.5 billion, up 14% from $29.38 billion during the same period last year.

Nintendo’s ‘Super Mario’ Death Hoax Spurs Social Media Buzz

NEWS ANALYSIS — When Nintendo on March 31 pulled the 35th anniversary special-edition video game releases Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. from its various platforms, some fans of the franchise took to social media proclaiming the Japanese publisher’s vaunted animated plumber character had been killed off or passed away.

The special-edition release has reportedly sold more than 2.6 million copies in the U.S., according to industry data.

While Nintendo announced it would stop supplying product to all of its platforms, including physical, at the end of March when it released the special-edition game last September, social media follows its own rules.

Online memes began surfacing that Nintendo had killed off one of its best-selling characters, which made about as much sense as Coca-Cola ending original Coke (oh wait …) or The Walt Disney Co. terminating Mickey Mouse. But then Disney has in the past used the marketing ploy of discontinuing legacy packaged-media titles and returning them to the company’s IP vault for future re-release.

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But in a digital ecosystem, there is no shortage of content — ever — and Nintendo’s refusal to comment on the situation only amped speculation — especially the day before April Fools.