Hollywood has been trying to crack the video game adaptation code for a long time and, with Detective Pikachu, Warner Bros. has gotten pretty close. The movie has quietly become the highest-grossing video game movie of all-time domestically, and second to only Warcraft for the top spot worldwide, which is still sitting above the rest of the admittedly questionable competition. While most of Hollywood still has a long way to go with video game movies, this live-action Pokemon movie has proved to be a huge step in the right direction.
With the help of some international box office that Detective Pikachu pulled in over last weekend, its worldwide total now stands at $429.4 million. That includes a $143.4 million domestic take, which is far and away above the rest of the competition. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is in second with $131.1 million. After that, it's a steep drop off to The Angry Birds Movie at $107.5 million. Warcraft, for what it's worth, finished its run in 2016 with $433.6 million. Though, it only managed $47 million domestically. Considering that Detective Pikachu is currently only playing in a small number of theaters, it's doubtful the worldwide record is a possibility. Still, Warner Bros. is likely happy with the result.
One key difference between Warcraft and Detective Pikachu was critical praise. Director Duncan Jones' adaptation of the wildly popular online fantasy game currently holds just a 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Rob Letterman's Pokemon movie, meanwhile, has a much better 67 percent, making it the highest-rated video game movie on the site. For what it's worth, the audience rating is much closer, as Warcraft holds a 77 percent, while Detective Pikachu boasts an 81 percent.
Between not being a critical bomb and becoming a pretty decent hit at the box office, Warner Bros. may have the first well-rounded video game adaptation on their hands. The movie benefited greatly from having a likable star like Ryan Reynolds in the role of Pikachu, which also led to a rather entertaining marketing campaign. It also doesn't hurt that Pokemon is an incredibly strong brand globally that goes far beyond being a video game. There are playing cards, hundreds of anime episodes and more than 20 animated movies to go along with the games. Movies like Warcraft, or even Rampage and Tomb Raider, simply didn't have that.
It's no surprise that Warner Bros. is hoping to expand the franchise in the future. They already have plans for a sequel and there are also possible spin-offs they could move forward with as well. Cinematic universes are all the rage right now in Hollywood and certainly, for the studio, that would be the ultimate goal. Though, they likely won't rush and give the green light to a bunch of Pokemon movies just yet, as they already learned their lesson with the DC universe. These numbers were provided by Box Office Mojo.