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After smartphone screens, Nintendo characters are heading to the silver screen

Nintendo is eyeing a move into the film business that could bring its beloved characters to cinemas worldwide.
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Published onMay 16, 2016

mario nintendo

Nintendo is eyeing a move into the film business that could bring its beloved characters to cinemas worldwide.

After finally taking the plunge with mobile games, starting with the bizarre – but successful – Miitomo, Nintendo wants to put Mario & Co. in the movies. The company’s president, Tatsumi Kimishima, told the Japanese publication Asahi Shimbun that Nintendo is in talks with several production companies about expanding its operations into film production.

The move would help strengthen Nintendo’s global reach, at a time when the company is trying hard to add new lines of revenue to its faltering console business.

super-mario-bros-movie-poster
Kimishima said that a decision would be made in the “not-so-distant future.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Nintendo characters grace the silver screen. But the 1993 “Super Mario Bros” live action movie was a giant flop. Bob Hoskins, who played the titular character, called the flick “the worst thing [he] ever did.”

This time around, Nintendo probably wants to bet on a 3D animation, the likes of which have brought Pixar and DreamWorks billions in revenue. Tatsumi Kimishima said that any movies that come out over the next years are unlikely to be live action flicks.

Nintendo may find some inspiration in The Angry Birds Movie, which just raked in $43 million in its opening weekend. And, while Rovio’s flock of angry foul is not what it used to be, Nintendo would be wise to capitalize on the ongoing popularity of its characters with a series of well-timed mobile game releases.

In addition to Miitomo, Nintendo revealed that its next mobile games would be free-to-play entries in the Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem series. While quite popular, these games have nothing on Mario or Zelda, probably the best-known video games franchises ever.

So, Nintendo, how about a Mario Android game to prepare the ground for that Mario movie?