Already from the first days on the bill, the figures were extraordinary, which forced Illumination to revise the forecasts upwards. It was expected that ‘Super Mario Bros. The Movie’ would reach 86 million dollars at the box office in the weekend and 125 in its first five days, but the numbers have turned out to be much higher: 204.6 million since its premiere in the United States , 377 worldwide.
Explosive box office… It is true that it is a special weekend: in many countries around the world, such as Spain, Thursday and Friday have been public holidays and family-oriented premieres tend to work very well. All in all, it is already the best opening of the year in the United States (ahead of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’, with 106 million) and the best animated opening in history (in its country of origin, only behind of ‘The Incredibles 2’ with 182 million dollars).
It is also, of course, a success for Illumination itself, producer of the film together with Nintendo. The company’s filmography is littered with hits (although the best, the two based on Dr. Seuss rhymes, are among the least popular), but among them the franchises ‘Pets’ and ‘Minions’ stood out. ://www.xataka.com/”Gru’. Nintendo has wiped out all of them, including the 115.7 million ‘The Minions’. In Spain, the records are also piling up: 8,032 million euros, 1,266,490 viewers, best opening of an animated film, largest opening in number of viewers since the pandemic and best opening of 2023.
… and lame criticism. But critics aren’t treating the movie as well. A look at the RottenTomatoes (56%) and Metacritic (47%) aggregators makes it clear that criticism is once again distancing itself from public opinion. The results, as opposed to the box office, are among the worst for Illumination. We, without excesses, consider it good family entertainment, but things are being said about it such as “The second film adaptation of the phenomenal video game success is a disappointment on par with the first” (The Guardian) or “a low-calorie entertainment calories to fill time during the holidays. In other words, a license to print money” (Little White Lies).
This bifurcation in opinions is serving to put the eternal debate on the table again on social networks about how criticism distances itself from the opinions of the masses that go to theaters. Although the emphasis is being placed on “increasingly”, the truth is that for some time now, the opinions of critics and the public are closer than ever. This is it: ‘Super Mario Bros. The Movie’ is not the norm, but the exception.
Critics and critics. Film criticism is as old as the medium itself. Already at the beginning of the last century, different media published their reviews of the films, still silent, that were released in theaters. By the twenties, inspired by the most veteran theater critics, there were already writers specialized in judging films from artistic criteria in the media. It was from the sixties that names like Roger Ebert, Pauline Kael or the senior staff of the French magazine ‘Cahiers du Cinema’ appeared, and they put the critic’s subjective, even creative impression ahead of any other consideration. .
This perspective took a turn with the arrival of the internet and social networks: for about a decade, with the arrival of ratings aggregators, fans have become critics, and the thinking of spectators and theorists has been unified. There is no longer a distinction between critics and fans because, with the appearance of phenomena such as review bombing and the disappearance of traditional means of film criticism, the public and critics are one.
Some scores. The way to check it is very simple: we will take the three highest grossing films of some recent years, from 2016 to the present, and we will look for their critical score on Metacritic, which is compiled from media from around the world. The result is not necessarily scientific, but it provides a sufficient sample to perceive what we are counting.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
John Wick 4
Avatar: The Path of Water
Top Gun: Maverick
Jurassic Park: Dominion
Spider-Man: No Way Home
no time to die
Fast and Furious 9
Guardians of the Night – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Infinity Train
Bad Boys for Life
The Lion King
Avengers: Infinity War
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Beauty and the Beast
Fast & Furious 8
Captain America: Civil War
looking for dory
As you can see, although rare is the great blockbuster massively adored by critics, with more than 85%, there are abundant with more than 75%. What’s more: with the exception of the last ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Quantumania’ (by the hair), there are no suspenses. The divergence between critics and audiences, then, is more of a myth than anything else, and although the media makes headlines that an unknown film is chosen as the best in history, the truth is that blockbusters are highly, highly regarded. .
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