Nintendo is getting into the movie business

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Okay, so the 1993 ‘Super Mario Bros.’ movie wasn’t exactly a hit. But that doesn’t mean Nintendo characters can’t make for a fun flick.

The company thinks so too; its CEO Tatsumi Kimishima told Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun that Nintendo will release feature-length films in the near future.

Thankfully, it’s not going down the live-action route. Instead, it will work on hand-drawn or 3D animated films, and seek partnerships with film companies for worldwide distribution.

The new venture will be funded using proceeds from Nintendo’s sale of its stake in the Seattle Mariners baseball team, which it hopes to complete later this year.

The company hasn’t yet announced which of its franchises will be turned into movies or when its first release will arrive in theaters; it has only confirmed that it won’t come this year, but should be out within five years.

It’ll be interesting to see if the foray into film can help Nintendo turn round its fortunes. Its Q1 2016 financial report (PDF) showed that the company’s earnings of $148 million were down by 61 percent from the previous fiscal year, due in part to slowing Wii U sales.

The company has also confirmed that it will launch a new game console, codenamed the NX, next March.

Nintendo eyeing filmmaking for growth after Mariners sale on Associated Press

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