Super Mario Bros. And Barbie Become The Only Two Movies To Make A Billion Dollars This Year, And One Internet User Just Had A Brilliant Idea For Potential Sequels

 Mario close-up and Barbie close-up
Mario close-up and Barbie close-up

As the summer movie season closes out, it’s clear that 2023 wasn’t quite the blockbuster hub that Hollywood studios would have no doubt loved to lavish in. Which isn’t to say that successes were completely unaccounted for, as The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Barbie can fully attest. In its third week of release, Greta Gerwig’s thought-provoking comedy (read our review) drove its pink ‘Vette through the Billion Dollar Box Office ribbon, becoming the second film to earn that much this year following the mustachioed plumber’s mega-earnings. Astoundingly, sequel news has not been made official for either film, but one fan offered up a humdinger of an idea that would no doubt spark another two billion in ticket sales.

Now as far as this idea for sequels goes, we’re not necessarily concerned with what the stories should be, or what elements from the source material should be included in the potential follow-ups. Rather, this X user honed in on the marketing campaign that helped boost the shared release dates for Margot Robbie’s living doll film and Christopher Nolan’s historical journey in Oppenheimer. Here’s the idea:

Releasing The Super Mario Bros Movie 2 and Barbie 2 on the same day to create hashtag Barbio would unleash pandemonium on cinemas across the world

[Plays the Super Mario Bros. theme on a party horn, though not necessarily very well.]

Break out the pink champagne, people, because this idea is a cork-popping winner. I dare say neither movie needs to actually be good in order for this idea to completely take over pop culture, although that certainly helps with the word-of-mouth and reviews and that sort of thing. After all, look how popular the #Barbenheimer double feature idea turned out to be, and that was completely born of audience interest.

Which then probably means that #Barbio would tank, because if Illumination and Warner Bros. went into crafting prospective sequels with double-features in mind, that might be too much of a hat-tip to an idea that isn't meant to create a shared universe or an overlapping experience. Both films should be their own things entirely, with only the viewing experience being the thing that brings them together. We don't need to see Barbie in her closet winking at the camera as she flips past Princess Peach's pink dress, and we probably don't need Kate McKinnon to voice "Weird Rosalina." (Although I'd certainly be down for a crossover short to showcase some of those silly elements in the meantime.)

And hey, why stop at just Barbio as a hook for the two possible sequels?

  • #Marbie

  • #MbarbioBarbothersMbovie

  • #ItsMarbinTime

  • #KoopaKen

  • #GetJackBlackToSingASongInTheBarbieSequelEvenIfItIsNotAsBowser

The sky (world) is the limit here, people. And hopefully everyone at Illumination and Warner Bros. now understands that fans are just as capable of pulling off marketing campaigns as their own teams are, so everyone can put all of their focus on making sure each follow-up movie is the best that it can possibly be. It's likely that sequel news will arise at whatever point the WGA writers strike ends, which Chris Pratt seemed to hint at when he spoke about potential sequels. But considering the SAG-AFTRA strike is also a hurdle to get through before any movies get made in the industry at all, let's not hold our breath just yet. #Barbreath. Wait, no, that just sounds terrible.

While waiting for Barbie to eventually make its way to Max, be sure to check out The Super Mario Bros. Movie currently streaming with a Peacock subscription. And then join me in waiting for the highly anticipated Nintendo Switch remake of Super Mario RPG and the brand new game Super Mario Bros. Wonder, which already features some elements I’d LOVE to see pop up in a movie sequel.