Super Mario Bros powers up the box office with $377 million global haul, despite boycott from actor John Leguizamo over lack of diversity

Nintendo "refused to let Mario go woke."

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Sunday, the box office numbers were released for the Super Mario Bros movie, featuring the voice of Chris Pratt as the titular character, and the Hollywood Reporter reports it opened to a record-breaking global haul of $377 million dollars, this despite critics panning the picture and attempts by actor John Leguizamo to boycott the movie because it "messed up the inclusion."

On Twitter, Jack Posobiec noted that the film's producer, Nintendo,"is still a Japanese company" and "refused to let Mario go woke." The movie's opening was the biggest ever for an animated feature globally, domestically it was the second highest animated feature ever, and it set a record for the biggest premiere for a movie based on a video game.

The movie sits at a 96 percent audience approval on Rotten Tomatoes and 56 percent from critics, a disconnect some attributed to contempt some critics have for openly Christian actor Chris Pratt. 

Reviewers were not the only ones going after Mario. Fox News reports that Leguizamo said in November 2022 that the film was "backwards" to voice cast two white actors, Pratt and Charlie Day, to play the two white, Italian-American characters of Mario and Luigi 

Leguizamo, who is Hispanic, was cast in the first adaptation of the beloved Mario Bros video game franchise in 1993 as Mario's brother, Luigi. That film, which is universally hated by both critics and fans according to Rotten Tomatoes, saw British actor Bob Hoskins cast as the Italian-American Mario alongside Leguizamo's Luigi. That film saw a change to canon as Luigi's origin was changed to be an adopted brother to Mario.

Leguizamo said he would not be watching the new iteration when asked on Friday by TMZ.

"They could’ve included a Latin character. Like, I was groundbreaking and then they stopped the groundbreaking," he said. "They messed up the inclusion. They dis-included. Just cast some Latin folk! We’re 20 percent of the population. The largest people of color group and we are underrepresented."

His commented echoed comments he made on Twitter in October 2022 when he wrote, "But too bad they went all white! No Latinx in the leads! Groundbreaking color-blind casting in original! Plus I’m the only one who knows how to make this movie work script wise!"


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