Universal’s upcoming “Super Mario Bros” super-jumped to the top of Variety’s Trending Movies chart, presented by Samsung, for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5, earning more than 132,000 engagements on Twitter.
The film hits theaters on April 7 next year, but has been stirring up controversy and excitement online for months, mainly for the nostalgic play but also because Chris Pratt voices the title character — a casting that hasn’t sat well with everyone in the industry.
This past week the film took over Twitter conversations thanks to the second trailer drop on Nov. 29, which introduced Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. The main topic of conversation, though, continued to be whether Pratt was the right choice to voice Mario, a debate only fueled by how few words the character has said over the first two trailer drops to date.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” swam into second place on this week’s chart as anticipation builds ahead of the 20th Century film’s Dec. 16 theatrical release. The James Cameron sequel got an added Twitter boost thanks to Canadian artist The Weeknd, who hinted at new music for the film on Dec. 4.
In a quick video clip, The Weeknd shared the film’s logo and audio of a choir and drums. Later, he retweeted the film’s official account promoting that collaboration. He also shared a photo of himself and film composer James Horner, welcoming the artist to the Avatar family.
Rounding out the Top 3 on this week’s chart is “Emancipation,” Will Smith’s first feature film following the 2022 Oscar slap incident with Chris Rock. The Apple Originals film had a limited theatrical release beginning Dec. 2, propelling it to one of the most talked about movies of the week.
In addition to the Will Smith of it all, the film earned criticism after producer Joey McFarland brought a photo of an enslaved man known as “Whipped Peter” to the Los Angeles premiere. The man served as inspiration for the film, however many felt it was in poor taste to bring the photo. McFarland later apologized.
Ti West’s horror offering “Pearl” starring Mia Goth landed in fourth place after the A24 movie dropped in 4K Ultra HD on Prime Video Nov. 29. The film (which features an impressive nine-minute monologue) is earning Oscar buzz for Goth. The project is West’s follow-up to “X” and is the second in a planned trilogy for the writer/director.
The fifth place slot on this week’s chart went to “Cocaine Bear,” Universal’s upcoming thriller directed by Elizabeth Banks. The film’s first official trailer dropped on Nov. 30 to propel the buzz, introducing Ray Liota in one of his final roles following his unexpected death in May 2022. Keri Russell, Margo Martindale, and Alden Ehrenreich also star in the story of a 500-pound black bear that goes on a rampage after accidentally ingesting cocaine.
Leading the back half of this week’s chart is Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” starring Brendan Fraser in the lead role. The movie continues to divide critics and early festival viewers ahead of its Dec. 9 theatrical release, as Fraser wears a fat suit for the role and Aronofsky has been accused of portraying the character through a harmful lens. Others applaud Fraser for the depth and insight he brought to the role, making the movie a buzzy project as it prepares for its big debut.
Landing in sixth place with more than 34,000 engagements this week is Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming take on “Pinocchio” for Netflix. The stop-motion movie arrives on the streamer on Dec. 9, marking the second “Pinocchio” adaptation to release this year (Disney+’s live action version debuted in September).
Del Toro’s version is set against the backdrop of fascist Italy and isn’t targeted at children. In a podcast interview with Variety, the director revealed the film took 1,000 days to shoot. Fans, meanwhile, are eagerly anticipating some of the darker twists as Netflix pushes for the film to be recognized in the best picture category at the Oscars. If it lands a nomination, it will be one of three animated films to ever to do, joining “Up,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Toy Story 3.”
Rounding out this Week’s Top 10 was Disney+ sequel “Hocus Pocus 2,” which earned nearly 34,000 engagements in eighth place and Focus Features/Universal Pictures’ “Tár,” which nabbed another 28,000 engagements in ninth. Apple TV+’s “Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me” earned another 27,000 engagements following a New York screening last week, landing the mental health doc in tenth place.