Detective Pikachu starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith is tracking to have an opening weekend debut over $75 million.
Box Office Pro made the prediction citing the Pokémon brand describing it as “a cultural phenomenon around the globe, ranking among the top selling intellectual properties of the past two decades.” They also reference strong social media buzz indicating the first trailer broke their “internal Twitter tracking record with 400,000+ mentions the day of release.”
Not only is Pokémon a strong brand, but it’s also had box office success before. The 1999 animated film, Pokémon: The First Movie brought in over $31 million and would go on to earn $85.7 million at the domestic box office. The movie is also well positioned debuting three weeks after Avengers: Endgame and two weeks before Disney’s Aladdin.
However, coming out in Endgame’s second week could still mean trouble for Detective Pikachu, and Box Office Pro admits that their social media buzz could be due to international audiences.
While things are looking good for Detective Pikachu based on Box Office Pro’s projections, Forbes writer Scott Mendelson also has high expectations for the film stating, “Legendary Pictures’ and Warner Bros.’ Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is arguably on track to become the first unmitigated video game-based blockbuster.”
Mendelson cites the beautiful imagery we’ve seen in the trailers noting “the movie was shot on film, and it shows, with clean, bright, and uncluttered visuals.” He adds, “The trailer leave the impression that the filmmakers are trying to make a real/good movie.”
He also notes the marketing for the film is top notch.
“The film is selling itself both via brand interest, generational nostalgia and (to newbies) as a relatively entertaining comedy/mystery that has value beyond IP investment.”
He would elaborate:
“WB isn’t remotely selling this as ‘based on that video game you like,’ but instead highlighting the contrast of hard-boiled detective movie tropes and adorable Pokemon characters.”
Mendelson predicts the film only need to do “‘a little better than Rampage’ ($100 million domestic and $428m worldwide)” in order for the film to be considered a success.
Given long range tracking already has the movie at $75 million domestic, it definitely looks like Detective Pikachu might be a runaway success for Warner Bros.
Do you plan on seeing Detective Pikachu in theaters? What are your box office predictions for the film?