GB: The Super Mario Bros. Movie has more Britons talking about the brand – could Zelda be next?
May 30th, 2023, Christien Pheby

GB: The Super Mario Bros. Movie has more Britons talking about the brand – could Zelda be next?

The Super Mario Bros. Movie has, according to YouGov BrandIndex data, got consumers talking: between 22 May 2021 – 22 May 2023, Word of Mouth scores (which measure whether consumers have talked about a franchise with friends or family), rose from 5.1 to 9 (+3.8), after a peak of 11.5 on April 28. In fact, it’s our most talked-about brand for April 2023 overall – regardless of sector.

What’s more, most of this conversation is positive: Buzz scores, which measure whether consumers have heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the past two weeks, increased from 5.1 to 10.1 over the same period.

Having grossed over $1.2bn worldwide, talk of a sequel has unsurprisingly begun in earnest – as has talk of adapting other successful Nintendo franchises to the silver screen. Most notably, the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has had fans wondering (and producers openly hinting) about the prospects of a movie. Our data suggests it might also go down well with fans.

Mario and Zelda fans at the movies

Among the possible reasons for The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s success: its fans are a little more likely to go to the cinema. According to YouGov Profiles data, a third (32%) of Britons who rated the franchise positively went to a movie theatre in the past three months; a quarter of the general public (25%) said the same. The possibilities for a Zelda film may be even greater: two in five (39%) said they had been to a cinema in the past three months.

This is more likely to be preference than mere habit. When presented with the statement “I prefer to watch films when they come out in the cinema”, 30% of Britons agree – but this rises to 36% of Mario fans and 45% of Zelda fans. The disparity may well make sense: Zelda games, being about a sword-wielding hero conquering an ancient evil, are perhaps more inherently cinematic than a series about an Italian plumber jumping on mushrooms (which still made for a financially successful movie).

On the cinema side of things, these fans are more likely to spend money when they do visit a movie theatre: while 57% of Britons say eating popcorn and sweets is “part of the experience” for them when they see a film, this rises to 69% of Mario fans and 72% of Zelda fans.

Looking at potential genres, the Mario movie – an animated family film starring comedy stars such as Chris Pratt, Charlie Day and Jack Black – seems to have been well-pitched: fans of the franchise are more likely to be into comedy films than the general public (58% vs. 50%) , animated films (30% vs. 21%), and family films (29% vs. 21%).

Looking at Zelda fans indicates a greater preference for action films (53% vs. 44 of the public) and adventure films (43% vs. 34%) – broadly in keeping with the franchise’s emphasis on combat and exploration. They also display a larger preference for science-fiction (40% vs. 30%) and a lesser preference for drama (26% vs. 35%). Zelda in Space, anyone?

Once a theatrical window has ended, Mario and Zelda fans are more likely to say that streaming TV is their preferred form of content (25% Mario fans; 30% Zelda fans; 22% nat rep) so if these enthusiasts aren’t captured in the cinemas, they might be captured in their living rooms.

One thing worth bearing in mind, though, is that these fans are more likely to consider themselves tastemakers and advocates: while 25% of Britons say people come to them for new music/film/TV recommendations, this rises to 35% of Mario fans and 45% of Zelda fans.

Gamers aren’t the only potential audience for a film adaptation, but if they like a movie they may be in a greater position to spread the word – for good or ill. So Zelda’s producers may want to think very hard before bringing Tingle to the big screen.

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YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Great Britain is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.