More than a decade after its premiere, Japan still loves the Pokemon anime so much that the twelfth feature film has landed a spot in Guinness’ World Records before it even came out.
It turns out that Japanese Pokemon (er, Pocket Monsters) fans were rather looking forward to the latest full-length animated adventure of Pikachu and pals: Arceus: To The Conquering of Space-Time – and no, I don’t know what that means either – because the title was a box-office hit before it was ever released.
Arceus racked up a fairly impressive 2,384,198 pre-sold tickets before its July 18th opening in Japanese theaters. Not only did it earn its Nintendo creators a whole mountain of yen, the 2.3 million preorders were enough to land the movie in the auspicious ranks of Guinness’ Book of World Records as the world record holder for the animated motion picture with the most advance ticket sales.
Of course, Arceus‘ success is unlikely to be replicated anywhere else – though Pokemon: The First Movie and Pokemon: The Movie 2000 (aka Mewtwo’s Counterattack and Revelation Lugia in Japan, respectively) were multi-million-dollar box-office successes, subsequent releases did successively worse. 2003’s Pokemon Heroes, the fifth in the series, was the last to see any sort of box-office release whatsoever, and more recent titles have just gone straight to DVD.
Frankly, I don’t know which surprises me more – that the Pokemon movies are still relative blockbusters in Japan, or that there are twelve of the damn things.