In the middle of the year 2023 and with multi-million dollar franchises dominating the box office year after year, it is not necessary to emphasize that the cinema of major studios is much more than art and creativity. Today marketing, studies of social networks and the various analyzes of what is known as “big data” they have practically the same importance as a good tandem of writers, directors and producers when cooking commercial successes.
The case of ‘Super Mario Bros. The Movie’ is no exception to the rule. The Illumination Entertainment feature film hasn’t even been on the bill for a week and has already broken a good handful of records, in part, thanks to the undeniable potential and attractiveness of the IP and the good work of the team responsible for cooking a perfect formula of fanservice and simplicity very easy to digest.
The Cristal ball
With these elements on the table, it was easy to predict a more than decent performance in the international box office, but the scandalous figures achieved have practically exceeded all expectations. This includes those of Chris Melandri, producer of Nintendo’s mustachioed plumber filmwho, during an interview with Bloomberg, has revealed what is the big crystal ball that allowed them to sense the millionaire that was about to fall.
As Melandri has commented, search engines have become an essential element to study the commercial viability of projects. In this case, the people at Universal scrutinized the movement generated at key moments in the promotional campaign and not just the total volume of searches; although even so he has not avoided being surprised with the results.
“I’m a bit perplexed. [Los resultados] They go beyond my expectations. I am extremely cautious by nature, but they go beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. We’ve seen some interesting things over the past 8 months. We were looking at the searches and the correlation between releasing something connected to the movie that we thought was dynamic and looking at the response through the searches.
We did it at every step. The trailers, the first poster release, what was going on with big paid media… If you were just looking at the search correlation and comparing it to other mainstream titles, you’d be less surprised by the results.”
The strategy with ‘Super Mario Bros. The movie’ has not been, far from it, an exception. In fact, the executive has confirmed that at Universal they already have a division dedicated exclusively to squeezing this tool; something totally understandable when we talk about dizzying budgets and their consequent risk.
“We’re doing it in more detail since the last three movies. As a tool, it’s getting more and more sophisticated. Within Universal there’s a group run by a guy named Chris Massey that focuses on that.”
Now it only remains that the artificial intelligence join the party.