Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto credits bad buzz for massive success


The legendary Shigeru Miyamoto says negativity going into the release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie only helped it.

Shigeru Miyamoto, aka Mario’s father, is obviously powered up over the box office success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, but it seems even sweeter that since its numbers worked to silence many doubters.

Speaking with Nintendo Dream Web (courteously translated by Video Game Chronicle), Shigeru Miyamoto said that negativity surrounding The Super Mario Bros. Movie from critics and audience naysayers only backfired–like running over your own banana peel. “You need some luck to achieve this level of success for a film…While many foreign critics have given the movie relatively low ratings, I think that also contributed to the movie’s notoriety and buzz.” Shigeru Miyamoto refers to foreign markets outside Japan, mainly the U.S., where there was plenty of backlash over the casting.

Much of the bad buzz stemmed from the casting of Chris Pratt as Mario–not because he’s Chris Pratt, but because he wasn’t using the “It’s-a-me, Mario!”-style voice, which has become iconic despite Mario barely even talking in the video games. There, too, have been a lot of vocal objections from John Leguizamo, blasting the producers for not including people of color in the roles, saying the casting has gone “backwards.”

Still, Shigeru Miyamoto remained positive after the release of Illumination’s Mario movie. “I did have a level of expectations that this movie would also do well…but I was very surprised that it went beyond what I could have imagined when it finally came out.” That “beyond” includes nearing $1 billion worldwide, making it the first movie of 2023 to do so. As of now, it’s looking to have one more week in the top spot at the box office before it’s thrown a blue shell in the form of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Looking outside of those charts, as it stands, critics have it at 59% on Rotten Tomatoes, while the audience score is an astounding 96%. So, as it turns out, it’s actually quite an enjoyable movie. Sure, there are some issues and plenty of fan-favorite elements missing, but that’s what sequels–which The Super Mario Bros. Movie will inevitably get–are for.

Do you think Shigeru Miyamoto has a point that the “notoriety and buzz” helped make The Super Mario Bros. Movie a box office powerhouse? Why do you think the movie has done so well? Let us know below!

Originally published at

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