Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto recently stated The Super Mario Bros. Movie may have done well in part to poor reviews from critics, driving fans into theaters.
The film was Nintendo’s first step onto the silver screen in 30 years- outside of Pokémon movies- and reached over $1 billion worldwide in just under a month. In an interview with NDW (machine translation: DeepL), Shigeru Miyamoto proposed an unexpected reason why The Super Mario Bros. Movie did well.
The Fellow and former Nintendo Representative Director discussed his career, his and Nintendo’s involvement with the film, and the development of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios theme parks. He also mentioned being blown away that American visitors were prepared to queue for up to three hours for the attractions.
“So I had high expectations that the movie would do well, but when I opened the lid, I was surprised to find that it exceeded my expectations,” Miyamoto explained. “It’s not easy to make it this far without a little help from luck.”
“Moreover, overseas critics gave the film quite low marks. I think that was part of the reason for the buzz,” Miyamoto theorizes. “I would be happy if they said that it changed the definition of cinema. That’s how lucky I was.”
Earlier in the interview, he also discussed resisting the temptation to ask for too many requests on smaller details, and he praised Illumination for how well they realized the characters and world.
At the time of writing, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has a 59% on the “Tomatometer” from 254 critic reviews aggregated on Fresh Tomatoes. The average score from critics is 5.7 out of 10. There are 150 fresh scores and 104 rotten ones.
The Top Critics gave it an even worse score of 42% with an average rating of 4.9 out of 10. The Verified Audience score currently sits at 96% with users rating the film 4.7 out of 5, suggesting a disconnect between what critics and audiences wanted out of the film.
A number of individuals agreed with Miyamoto’s theory that critics panning the film actually drove moviegoers to the theaters.
“Based take from Shigeru Miyamoto,” praised @Goddes_Maxwell. “Hes right that the critics trashing Super Mario Bros Movie made people want to see it more. No one trusts professional critics anymore. Whether its shilling for Disney or downplaying games/movies for not being political. Audience is smarter now.”
“The creator of Mario went BASED. Pointing out how the general public jumps on films dissed by woke critics,” spat @wokesbane. “The new Mario movie, aside from Princess Peach being a tad annoying, is a really fun and cool movie for fans of the video game series, with some more fleshed out lore.”
@TheRealJimsYT also highlighted what The Super Mario Bros. Movie aimed to do, and critics were oblivious to. “Saw the Mario movie with the nieces and nephews today. It was extremely fun. I get critics’ points about it not being deep or complex, but I feel like that perspective is missing the point of what this thing is trying to be. It’s entertaining, it’s competently told, and it’s fun.”
What do you make of Shigeru Miyamoto’s comments about critic reviews of The Super Mario Bros. Movie?