Progress on the hotly anticipated Detective Pikachu movie is ramping up. It was just announced that the live-action movie has now finalized its cast with Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) playing the lead and that production will begin early next year.
That's not all, though. Universal Pictures, the group distributing the movie outside of Japan, has now confirmed the Detective Pikachu release date. The film will be released on May 10, 2019 which is during the Mother's Day weekend and it is also a week after the next Avengers movie is released in theatres.
The Detective Pikachu movie has some seriously stiff competition from the superhero flick, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the movie will struggle. The Pokemon brand is incredibly strong and it is also a household name. There are over half a billion Pokemon GO players around the world, for example, meaning that the movie has a large, potential audience of Pokemon fans. Even curious moviegoers who haven't played a Pokemon game themselves may buy tickets for the movie just because the Pokemon brand is so high profile.
The fact that the movie is being released during the Mother's Day weekend is a big deal, too. The holiday is typically a big event for moviegoing families who want to see something child-appropriate. Pikachu is one of the most popular characters among children thanks to its adorable design and its friendship with (Pokemon anime character) Ash. Every child wants to be best friends with Pikachu and that could help to make Detective Pikachu a hit.
Moreover, it seems that the Detective Pikachu game is going to release in Europe and North America. If that game proves to be a success then it could further widen the potential audience for the live-action film.
The Detective Pikachu release date also suggests that Universal Pictures has a lot of faith in the film and its potential to be a success. While other video game movie spin-offs have performed poorly (such as the Assassin's Creed movie), this upcoming Pokemon film is much more likely to have mass appeal. That May release date puts the film in the best position to make bank and Universal is clearly convinced that it can be a big summer blockbuster.
The critical and sales success of the Detective Pikachu movie could have other implications. A deal for an animated Super Mario Bros. movie is also being worked on by Nintendo, Universal and Legendary Entertainment (the production company behind Detective Pikachu). Perhaps, if Detective Pikachu performs well in its summer slot, the Super Mario Bros. film will be the next summer blockbuster that fans have to look forward to.
The Detective Pikachu movie will be released on May 10, 2019.