The trailer for Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment’s first summer 2019 blockbuster ‘Detective Pikachu’ has dropped.
A live-action treatment has been given to the Nintendo 3D-S edition of the uber-successful game Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. The movie will have moviegoers visit the neon-filled, imaginary Ryme City and follow the antics of the titular character.
The treatment given to Pikachu will portray him in a different light that he has been come to be loved as. The adorable and fluffy exterior will now be replaced by a blunt, caffeine chugging, outspoken and mildly cocky character.
But the best news in all of this is that comedy great Ryan Reynolds will voice Pikachu. Taking a break from the red-suit clad, the foul-mouth merc with a mouth, Deadpool, Reynolds decided to join the cast in 2018.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) February 26, 2019
The new Detective Pikachu movie has a multi-faceted star cast that includes Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe, Khary Payton, Bill Nighy, Suki Waterhouse, Chris Geere, Rita Ora, and Omar Chaparro. This decision has flummoxed several of Reynolds’ greatest fans. But many say that the plans for a third Deadpool movie have been in limbo ever since Disney decided to buy Fox Studios (under whose banner Deadpool was created).
The movie, directed by Rob Letterman (of Shark Tale and Monsters vs. Aliens fame) and co-written by Nicole Perlman, follows the tale of Pikachu teaming up with the son of his partner Tim Goodman, Harry Goodman (Justice Smith) after the senior Goodman goes missing.
The movie features an array of fan-favorite Pokemon like Jigglypuff, Charizard, Bulbasaur and Mewtwo among many others. But the live action treatment to the film has dazzling visuals which will appeal to even the most casual Pokemon fans, which means that Warner Bros. may have a summer blockbuster on their hands.
Warner Bros. does not have the most stellar track record of summer blockbusters
Warner Bros. is looking to break their two-decade-old jinx of their movies not pulling in either the critics or an audience in the first week of the summer.
The Ryan Reynolds/Justice Smith live-action film has a lot of bad karma to overcome. No major Warner Bros. summer release from 1998 has done well at the box office apart from 2004’s Troy and Hugh Jackman starrer Van Helsing. They made $44 million and $54 million at the box office respectively at their first weekend after hitting cinemas (According to Forbes).
However, the only notable exception to this was WB’s The Great Gatsby opening to $50 million in 2013. Apart from that almost all of WB’s summer releases Battlefield Earth, Poseidon, Speed Racer, Dark Shadows, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword bombed miserably.
Marvel Studios have almost always reserved the first week of May slot, and their movies have almost always performed at the box office. The date this year has been vacated by Marvel that plans to release its highly anticipated blockbuster Avengers: Endgame in April.
Previously Marvel movies like Iron Man, The Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II have been released on that spot and have gone on to be some of the most successful movies of Marvel Studios.
However, the reason for the date switch by Marvel has less to do with Detective Pikachu as it more to do with the other slate of touted blockbusters that are set to release in the summer. John Wick: Chapter 3 and Walt Disney’s live-action treatment of Aladdin are going to release this summer.
This means that Detective Pikachu is going to open on the same weekend that the Shrek movies, Matrix Reloaded and the different Star Wars movies opened. Maybe that is a good thing for Warner Bros.
The Pokemon game craze may just be its saving grace at the box office
Barring a string of flops at the box office, peppered with exceptions, nothing is stopping this live-action Pokemon movie from becoming a summer blockbuster.
The Pokemon Company has successfully expanded the franchise from a video game conceptualized in the late 1990s to a world-renowned brand name. They have extended their forte to a television series, trading cards, manga, home entertainment products, and merchandise among many others.
Their most successful venture in recent times was when their mobile game Pokemon Go took the world by storm. The location-oriented game gave an immersive experience to participants who had a chance to travel to multiple locations to catch various Pokemon and become Pokemon Masters in their own right.
Pokemon launched successful installments to their games on Nintendo Switch in 2018 and have now launched two new editions for their games in 2019. Besides the Switch, they have an exclusive array of games for other Nintendo instruments like the 3D-S as well. And they have been launching new games and patches for their games for the past two decades as well.
The Pokemon or Pocket Monsters franchise is currently airing as animated animation series in over 124 countries and is available on the DisneyNow App as well. According to information aggregator Wikipedia: “The Pokémon animated series is split up into six chronologically sequential series in Japan, split up by the version of the video game series the anime takes inspiration from: the original series, the Advanced Generation series, the Diamond & Pearl series, the Best Wishes! Series, the XY series, and the newest, the Sun & Moon series. In the international broadcasts, these six series are split into 21 separate seasons.”
As of 2014, the valuation of The Pokemon Company was $1.5 billion, and the latest figure of their valuation is not available.