Exactly how much success is enough?
Earlier this year, as the summer movie-going season was just beginning, Pokémon fans had their cinematic dreams fulfilled. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, based upon the popular 2016 video game, was released into theaters.
Though it garnered the highest score for a video game adaption on Rotten Tomatoes, its critical reception was, overall, mixed. And while it performed well at the box office, it failed to meet sky-high expectations.
The film finished with around $430 million, globally. Its production budget stands at an estimated $150 million.
While these numbers are nothing to be frowned upon, are they enough to put a sequel into production?
To decide, let’s look at a film that had a very similar cinematic run: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim.
Pacific Rim opened in 2013 to mild critical success. Though its box office haul was nothing to scream about, the movie still made $411 million dollars in total. This more than doubles its massive $190 million production budget.
Most importantly, however, the movie was embraced by audiences, who gave it an “A-” CinemaScore and a “77%” on Rotten Tomatoes.
Warner Bros. went on to release Pacific Rim: Uprising five years later, in March of 2018
During its cinematic run, the filmed gained a cult following. That which, not long after, became big enough to demand a sequel.
Detective Pikachu, much like Pacific Rim earned an “A-” CinemaScore and an “80%” audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. This indicates a substantial interest in the movie’s world and its characters. On top of this, the movie’s production budget was lower than ‘Pacific Rim’s’ and its global income, higher.
And to the satisfaction of Detective Pikachu fans, Pokémon already have a giant following. The movie only added to that already big number.
Considering the film’s similarities to Pacific Rim, I’d say a sequel is possible. And, looking at its physical media sales (which are very healthy at this point), I’d even say likely.
Not to mention the mountains of money to be made off the marketability of the film’s adorable creatures.
A Detective Pikachu sequel has a lot going for it, and it’s very possible we’ll see one in the next few years.
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