Pikachu attends the premiere of "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" at Military Island in Times Square on May 2, 2019 in New York City.

Pikachu attends the premiere of "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" at Military Island in Times Square on May 2, 2019 in New York City.

When some of us think about the Pokemon franchise, we get serious ’90s nostalgia.

We might think of the trading cards, clunky Gameboys, bright colors and the super catchy theme song.

But “Detective Pikachu,” which debuted last Thursday, imagines a different kind of Pokemon world.

That world is one where humans and Pokemon live together in a Blade Runner-adjacent city, and Pikachu is a wise-cracking, caffeine-addicted detective.

Many recent live-action adaptations of anime haven’t been well-received at the box office — we need only to think of the furious backlash to the previews of “Sonic The Hedgehog” for proof of that — but “Detective Pikachu” could change that trend.

The movie’s debut netted $58 million at the box office..

Here’s more about the film and its development from Variety:

The impressive start for “Detective Pikachu” signals a rare win for video-game to big-screen adaptations. As a whole, it’s a genre that’s filled with few hits. “Super Mario Bros.” and “Doom” are two of the more high-profile misfires, but even recent titles like Alicia Vikander’s “Tomb Raider” remake and Dwayne Johnson’s “Rampage” were not popular among video game enthusiasts.

“It worked because of the lighthearted nature of the film,” [Warner Bros.’ head of domestic distribution Jeff] Goldstein said. “You don’t need to be a Pokemon fan to see the movie.”

Will this movie’s success pave the way for other video game franchises trying to make it to Hollywood?

We review the movie and answer that question during this meeting of the 1A Movie Club.

Produced by Haili Blassingame. Text by Haili Blassingame and Gabrielle Healy.


  • Jessica Merriman Founder and co-chairman of MomoCon; director of Outside Events at Dragon Con. @jesspanda
  • John Horn Host, KPCC's "The Frame"; @jghorn
  • Roland Kelts Author, "Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S."; @rolandkelts
  • Niko Pueringer Co-founder, Corridor Digital; visual effects artist. @corridordigital

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