The live-action Super Mario Bros.: The Movie, which was a flop in 1993, is getting a lavish 4K release for its 30th anniversary.
The movie, which was based on Nintendo’s popular video game franchise, starred Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi, who had to deal with bizarre and dangerous threats. The movie was a box office bomb, making only $38.9 million on a budget of more than $40 million.
The franchise has been rebooted in animated form, with Chris Pratt voicing Mario and the movie grossing over $1.3 billion.
Despite the bad reputation of Super Mario Bros., Umbrella Home Entertainment is giving it a special anniversary treatment. The huge box set includes a 4K Ultra HD version of the movie, with three discs, two Blu-rays, behind-the-scenes books, film cell, posters, stickers, art cards, new audio commentary, and newly-restored deleted scenes and trailers.
The box set costs a whopping $100 and will be released in January 2024.
The live-action Super Mario Bros. stands in stark contrast to the animated version, which broke box office records. It is hard to believe that such a profitable IP could have such a disastrous movie adaptation. The movie had impressive special effects for its time, and could have been a huge hit, as the 2023 version showed, but instead it became a laughing stock.
The main problem was that the movie deviated too much from the source material. While the animated version captured the cheerful and colorful atmosphere of the games, the live-action version tried to add some unnecessary twists to the universe. It depicted the world as a dystopia, instead of showing an adventurous and fun Mushroom Kingdom. It also focused too much on Mario and Luigi’s occupation as plumbers, which was irrelevant and boring to the Mario world.
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The live-action Mario also failed to understand its audience. The animated version was a family-friendly film that anyone could enjoy, and even though critics thought its plot was simple and predictable, it faithfully adapted the world of the Super Mario games. The live-action version did the opposite, making the plot complex and confusing, but ignoring the pre-existing world.
Today, Super Mario Bros. is remembered for its ridiculous plots and an unexpectedly expensive 4K release.