Illustration by staff illustrator Sakura Siegel.

For the last few decades, Hollywood has been dominated by comic book adaptations like Marvel and DC Comics. 

While most of these movies, especially Marvel, are guaranteed to generate a substantial profit, the last few MCU and DC movies have had underwhelming returns at the box office. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” released on Easter holiday weekend – April 5 – and has become the largest animated movie opening of all-time. In the following weeks, “Super Mario” has earned another $92 million and $58.2 million to total over $800 million worldwide

Although there have been video game adaptations in the past, the box office results have always been mixed and had no guarantee for success. However, in recent years with the success of “Sonic the Hedgehog” at movie theaters and “The Last of Us” on television, more video game adaptations could be on the horizon.

Mario has been one of the most recognizable names in all of video games and pop culture. 

The Italian plumber along with his brother, Luigi, have appeared in numerous titles over the years. The titles range from  “Super Mario Bros.,” “Mario Kart,” “Mario Party,” as well as many more spin-off games. When it was announced that Illumination, the animation studio most well-known for the “Despicable Me” and “Minions” franchises, would be making a “Super Mario Bros.” movie, the expectation was it would be successful, yet it has exceeded expectations due to the financial success. 

(Courtesy of Nintendo, Illumination/Universal Pictures)

The movie has an ensemble cast with Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key and Anya Taylor-Joy providing the voices for Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Toad and Princess Peach. 

When the first trailer for the movie was released, fans were very vocal about their displeasure in Chris Pratt’s Mario voice. While a vast majority of fans like the movie, leading to a 96% audience score, there is a disconnect with critics, as the movie has a 58% Rotten Tomatoes score. 

Despite all this, “Super Mario Bros.” is projected to make $1 billion at the box office, and sequels and spin-off movies may be next for Mario, his friends and enemies.

Sonic the Hedgehog has been the mascot of Sega and was rivals with Nintendo’s Mario. 

In the 1990s, Sonic was one of the more recognizable characters leading to many video games and animated television shows. Sega stepped away from making home consoles after the Sega Dreamcast, and instead shifted on focusing primarily on video games instead. 

With the lack of a console, Sonic was not as well-recognized as Nintendo rival, Mario. 

The “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie released on Feb. 14, 2020, right around the time the COVID-19 pandemic was about to shut down movie theaters and most of the world. 

When the first trailer of “Sonic” released, fans were very vocal about the appearance of Sonic, to the point that Sonic was redesigned to appease the public. The movie starred James Marsden, Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotni, and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog.

“Sonic the Hedgehog” was able to earn $320 million at the box office, a very impressive feat considering most of the world would be shut down only weeks later. The success of the first film led to its sequel “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.” The film returns its previous stars from the original film while adding Idris Elba as the voice of Knuckles. Colleen O’Shaughnessey voices Tails, a voice Colleen has voiced across all Sonic media, and had previously been introduced in the first movie as a mid-credit scene. 

(Courtesy of SonicTheHedgehog/Reddit)

“Sonic 2” would earn $405 million at the global box office, with a third movie hinted at and is expected, as well as Knuckles getting his own spin-off tv show.

“The Last of Us” is an HBO show that is based on the 2013 video game of the same name developed by Naughty Dog for the Playstation 3. 

The video game received massive critical acclaim, many reviewers stating that it was the greatest video game of all-time. Gamers were compelled by the dynamic of protagonists Joel and Ellie as they venture through a very desolated world. The video game has many cutscenes that it felt as if you were watching a movie, rather than playing a video game. The tv adaptation of the video stars Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie. 

(Courtesy of HBO Max/Twitter)

The show has received critical acclaim and has hit record-viewing numbers. Fans of the show also notice that the tv adaptation is loyal to the original 2013 video game. A second season has been confirmed.

Video games have come a long way since its inception. Some common misconceptions of video games included making you less smart, or one of the factors for becoming violent. The recent trend could show that more video games – not less – will be appearing on a screen soon.

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