‘Super Mario,’ ‘Pac-Man’ among top games fans want as movies

Original movies are over-performing, despite box office slump

Variety senior correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister provides insight into Thanksgiving weekend box office numbers.

“Sonic the Hedgehog,” a movie based on a video game series, that’s raked in more than $265 million, and some gamers want “Super Mario Bros.” to be next.

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Those are the results of a nationally representative Hollywood Reporter-Morning Consult poll that asked 2,200 adults which classic games they’d like to see on the big screen.

The top choice: “Super Mario Bros.” The game, which landed No. 14 on Game Designing’s list of the 20 most popular video games of all time, has sold more than 639 million units since its debut, and while it has already been adapted many times, fans want more. The poll found 44 percent of respondents were “very” or “somewhat” interested in a new movie.

They may get their wish. A Mario animated film is reportedly in the works, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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“Pac-Man” and “Mario Kart” tied second as 37 percent of respondents said they were “very” or “somewhat” interested in a film based on those games. Like “Super Mario,” “Pac-Man” has also saw some adaptions, including a cameo in 2015’s “Pixels,” starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James, where aliens attack Earth using giant versions of video game characters.

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“There’s a strong consumer appetite for film adaptations from video games, which spells good news for studios looking to tap into the billion-dollar gaming industry,” Morning Consult Vice President Tyler Sinclair, told The Hollywood Reporter. “Among both the general public and more dedicated gamers,” he said, Nintendo’s “Mario Kart” was another popular choice.

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If "Super Mario Bros." were adapted into a film, it wouldn’t be first time for the characters on the big screen, however. A 1993 adaptation landed on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of “10 awesome video games that were made into terrible movies.” The Annabel Jankel, and Rocky Morton-directed film follows brothers Mario and Luigi, played by Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo, as they adventure through a series of different worlds in pursuit of a princess captured by the evil villain King Koopa. It scored 23 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and made just $8 million in its opening weekend.

Other games fans were interested in seeing on the big screen included Nintendo and Rare's Donkey Kong, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto and Nintendo's Legend of Zelda.

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