Detective Pikachu
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Credit: Warner Bros.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is now the highest-grossing video game adaptation ever

Contributed by
Jun 14, 2019

Pokémon Detective Pikachu shocked everyone when it hit theaters, as the film noir focused on the famous electricity-zapping rodent hung in there at the box office with the likes of Avengers: Endgame. That the film managed to adapt an absolute slew of Pokémon into versions ranging from super cute to reasonably acceptable is a feat in and of itself. But now the first live-action Pokémon movie has a new accolade to add to its trophy case: it’s now the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time.

According to figures from Box Office Mojo, Detective Pikachu solved the mystery of how to make a decent video game adaptation while finding all the clues on how to make a little cash in the meantime. Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider once held the prestigious honor of being the video game movie that made the most bank—Lara Croft: Tomb Raider made $131,168,070 since its release in 2001 while the 2003 sequel The Cradle of Life pulled in $65,660,196—but now it’s the pocket monsters’ time to shine.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu now totals its receipts at $139,147,806, dominating the top spot with $8M more than its gunslinging archaeologist competitor. If the box office totals for the animated movies—over even just Pokémon: The First Movie and Pokémon: The Movie 2000—are added into the mix, the Pokémon franchise lords over the rest of the video game adaptations, including the six-part Resident Evil series.

What does this mean? Well, for Pokémon fans, it means a sequel. Hollywood doesn’t stop money trains; it hops on board. For everyone else, it means that more video game adaptations are still coming. Sonic the Hedgehog was going to dip its freakishly-human toe into the water anyways, but with such a demonstrative success for the subgenre, look for many more movies with the same aesthetic to try to make the leap to the big screen.

What video game movie do you think could unseat Detective Pikachu?

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