Detective Pikachu is releasing next month, and has been generating a lot of positive buzz. One person has already seen the film. Jordan Vogt-Roberts, director of 2017's Kong: Skull Island and the upcoming adaption of Metal Gear Solid, has seen Detective Pikachu twice. He had nothing but good things to say.
A wild JORD appeared!#DetectivePikachu uses MIND BLOWN.— Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) April 12, 2019
It’s super effective!
The video game curse is broken.
Anytime a POKÉMON is on screen, you’re mesmerized by a charisma reminiscent of watching Tony Stark tinker with robots in IRON MAN.
Also, PSYDUCK steals the movie!
Unfortunately, video game movies have historically not been received well. Doom, Super Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat, and many more are seen as critical failures. That's not to say these movies do not have cult followings. But, they are not seen by many as quality pieces of entertainment. The highest rated video game movie on Rotten Tomatoes is 2018's Tomb Raider, with a score of 52.
So, for Vogt-Roberts to say that Detective Pikachu breaks the video game movie curse is bold and hopeful. If Detective Pikachu is well received and commercially successful, this could open the door for a new wave of quality video game movies. At the very least, the general public's perception of video game movies can change.
As for how Detective Pikachu is looking commercially, Box Office Pro is estimating an opening weekend gross of over $75 million. That is a really solid number. In comparison to recent video game movies, Tomb Raider's opening weekend gross was under $24 million, and Rampage's was under $36 million, according to Box Office Mojo. For a non-video game movie example from Box Office Mojo, Shazam grossed under $54 million. So, if Detective Pikachu ends up opening with its estimated number, that would be quite impressive.
From its first trailer, Detective Pikachu looked like a unique, almost surreal (photorealistic Pokémon?) experience. The film is releasing at just the perfect time. As it stands, Pokémon is a worldwide phenomenon. The main games continue to be acclaimed, and Pokémon GO continues to be enjoyed by many users. This year will see the release of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield on Nintendo Switch, as well as a new Japanese CGI film. Simply put, Pokémon is one of the biggest media franchises in the present. Detective Pikachu will likely propel the series to even greater heights.
Detective Pikachu will be sleuthing across theaters on May 10th.