Pokemon Detective Pikachu had a stellar opening weekend. The movie based on trading cards and the beloved Nintendo video game series raked in $58 million domestically and $112.4 million worldwide at the weekend box office for a combined total of $170.4 million. The estimated production budget was $150 million.
The earnings are an impressive feat for a project burdened with the stigma of being a video game movie adaptation. According to Box Office Mojo, Detective Pikachu had the best domestic opening weekend for a movie based on a video game property ever. The film’s $58 million exceeded runners up like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ($47.7 million) and The Angry Birds Movie ($38 million). Those numbers are nothing to scoff at, especially when considering that Hollywood has tried to capitalize on the video game scene for years.
However, Detective Pikachu wasn’t entirely a runaway success. Despite returning a profit within a few days of release, Ryan Reynolds voicing an electric yellow Pokemon still couldn’t compete with the three-week-old Avengers: Endgame. The MCU blockbuster held the number 1 spot for the third consecutive weekend, earning more than $63 million domestically over Mother’s day weekend to add to its current worldwide gross of nearly $2.5 billion.
Then again, it’s unfair to expect most movies to compete with a movie that has now outgrossed Titanic’s entire theatrical run. Superhero movies have become box office gold while Detective Pikachu had to succeed in a much more maligned genre. At least it can now brag that it’s the best of that sorry bunch.