The Mario Movie Will Have a Huge Impact on Game Adaptations

    Mario is one rich plumber.

    The Mario movie has been a huge success for Nintendo and Illumination. I don’t think anyone is particularly surprised that Mario would be the franchise to set a milestone for box office records, but it’s still a huge deal for video game movies. This is not to say that video game movies were never profitable (there’s a reason why they kept making Resident Evil movie sequels for a while), but they’ve never really been able to compete with the biggest blockbusters out there. However, the world’s most famous Italian plumber is proving video game movies may be Hollywood’s next big thing. 

    Passing a billion dollars at the box office, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is easily the highest-grossing video game movie of all time. To put that into perspective, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 previously held the record for the highest-grossing video game movie in the US. While it certainly wasn’t a flop by any means, it still wasn’t able to make even half of what Mario was able to. Whether you want it to or not, the Mario movie is going to have a huge impact on Hollywood going forward. 

    You Can Expect More Nintendo Movies

    Link Master Sword

    This should probably go without saying. Even Nintendo themselves have expressed interest in making more movies. A sequel to the Mario movie is a guarantee, but what about other Nintendo IPs? If I had to bet anything, I’d say that a Legend of Zelda adaptation is likely a high priority for Nintendo. It is easily one of Nintendo’s most successful franchises and there’s no doubt in my mind that it would also dominate in the box office. However, the question of who exactly will make these movies still remains.

    While it’s likely that Nintendo will partner with Illumination again, I’m sure that many can agree that they might not be the best fit for every Nintendo series. Will every movie be animated or will there be some live-action films as well? It’s hard to tell at the moment, but there is something to keep in mind. Nintendo is pretty well-known for being extremely protective of their IPs, especially these days. They go to great lengths to preserve the image of their franchises. It’s almost certain that they will keep a strict eye on any movie studio that adapts their games to the big screen.

    So, while we’ll definitely see more Nintendo movies in the future, it might take a while for them to arrive. I doubt that Illumination will be handling every Nintendo movie, and even if they do, it will add a ton to their workload. Nintendo will likely want to form careful plans with other studios. There’s no way they will allow another 90s Mario movie to happen. Making movies can take a lot of time, but these sorts of dealings can also take a lot of time. 

    What Other Video Game Franchises Will Get a Movie?

    Knuckles TV series begins filming

    While it’s oddly fitting, I don’t think many were expecting mascot platformers to make for the biggest video game movies. However, it does make a lot of sense the more you think about it. Mario and Sonic are both characters with iconic designs, history, and global appeal. In more basic terms, this means they can print money under the right circumstances. The Mario movie proves that a lot of people want to see the games they grew up with accurately portrayed on the big screen. 

    As weird as it may sound, I can almost guarantee you that there is some Hollywood executive out there clamoring to get the rights to a Crash Bandicoot movie. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing of course, but you can expect more franchises that are synonymous with childhood nostalgia. Now that higher-ups in the industry see how profitable these movies can be, you can bet that they want a slice of the pie. In fact, there are probably a bunch of studios competing to get their hands on the next Nintendo movie franchise. 

    However, if you are looking for more adaptations of games that are heavy on lore and/or story, you might still be in luck. Shows such as Arcane, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, and The Last of Us prove that there is a demand for more serious game-related media. Hell, even Sonic the Hedgehog 3 could be taking a darker and more serious turn with what it appears to be adapting. However, I wouldn’t expect Hollywood adaptations of several niche game franchises quite yet. 

    The Mario Movie Will Change the Industry

    If there’s anything to take away from the success of the Mario movie, it’s that video game adaptations are likely going to play a much larger role in the movie industry. We’re also probably going to see greater attempts to make these movies more representative of their source material. That’s not to say that every movie will be a winner, but there might be fewer attempts to appeal directly to people who aren’t familiar with video games. 

    I can’t say exactly what’s in store for the future of video game movies, but I can guarantee that things are going to get interesting. It’s probably safe to say that the infamous “video game movie curse” is broken, and we’re just starting to see what can be accomplished. I don’t know if every video game franchise is the best choice for an adaptation, but with enough creative thinking, I believe anything can succeed. 

    Movies are a different medium than video games, and trying to translate ideas between the two mediums can be difficult. There are still many ways to improve some of these adaptations, but recent efforts have been impressive. No matter your opinions on the Mario movie itself, there’s no doubt that it has opened the floodgates for video game adaptations. 



    Itch has a strong passion for PC gaming and retro consoles (especially the Dreamcast). From Melty Blood: Actress Again to Forza Horizon, he will play just about anything that catches his eye. Ever since playing Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit as a young child, he has been in love with the medium of video games and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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