In May, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures presented the world with what many who watched it are now claiming to be the best movie adaptation of a videogame ever. Based on the famous “Pokémon” franchise from Nintendo, and specifically a spinoff title that is atypical to other games in the main series, “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” nevertheless charmed viewers with its vibrantly realized world that blends real actors with CGI creatures, driven by a positively received main cast. And now, months after its release, the box office statistics have made official what initial emotional pronouncements were made. This film is tops.
Yahoo News reports that “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” is now the current all-time highest-earning videogame-based film. With the addition of the prior weekend gross from the last five remaining territories in the world still screening the movie, the WB-Legendary-Nintendo production now has $436 million in the bag. That puts it past the previous title-holder, the 2016 film “Warcraft,” also from Legendary in cooperation with Universal and the game creators, Blizzard Entertainment. Box Office Mojo recorded a total of $6,994 ticket sales being earned by the “Detective Pikachu” movie from July 12-14 on theaters in Colombia, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and Slovenia.
With the earlier domestic and international earnings of $143.3 million and $286 million respectively, there is no doubt that audiences loved the promotion and actual content of “Pokémon Detective Pikachu,” which tells the story of an office worker and disillusioned Pokémon trainer that encounters his detective father’s pet Pikachu, who is able to talk and insists that his partner did not die but has gone missing instead. Justice Smith, who plays protagonist Tim Goodman, and Ryan Reynolds, who voices the detective Pikachu, both received praise for their acting from critics.
That is another element that “Detective Pikachu” has over previous videogame films. Not only did it earn big, it has the best critic reviews on record for the genre. Online film review curator Rotten Tomatoes has the film at a 67% “fresh” rating, where the usurped “Warcraft” movie had just 27% “rotten” on the platform. The movie in question also earned nearly half its $433 million revenue from the world’s biggest cinematic market, China, also a place where the source game still has a following. Other videogame adaptations that can only come close to that positive Rotten Tomatoes rating (52%) are “Rampage” starring Dwayne Johnson from New Line and the “Tomb Raider” reboot with Alicia Vikander from MGM, both from 2018 and distributed by Warner.
As for “Detective Pikachu,” Legendary Entertainment is already conceptualizing a sequel written by Oren Uziel. No details on reprising or new actors have been revealed.
Image courtesy of Nintendo Everything