Detective Pikachu may not top Avengers: Endgame at the box office this weekend. Since opening at the end of April, Marvel's latest blockbuster has dominated the marketplace, already crossing the $2 billion mark worldwide. It was always expected Endgame would do very well commercially, but nobody could have predicted the record-shattering numbers it actually posted. Prior to Endgame, the thought of a single movie grossing $1.2 billion in its debut was unfathomable, but the MCU was able to defy expectations.
Because Endgame got off to such a gargantuan start, it threw longstanding box office conventions out the window. This impacts not just Avengers' performance, but also how other movies playing will fare. Case in point: back in March, it was projected Detective Pikachu would post anywhere between $75-90 million domestically during its opening weekend. But with Endgame an event bigger than anyone anticipated, it looks like the Pokémon movie is going to have to settle for a little less than initially thought.
According to Box Office Pro, Endgame is poised to win its third weekend in a row by earning around $70.7 million domestically. Detective Pikachu would come in second with approximately $56 million in the States - a considerable gap between the two tentpoles, especially since a majority of the moviegoing public has seen Endgame by now.
What this underscores is just how massive Endgame continues to be. It's normal for highly-anticipated franchise installments to open huge and then experience a sizable drop-off, but nothing about Endgame's run is typical. The film's opening weekend was so huge ($350 million domestically), it was always going to take a little bit of time for the figures to come back down to Earth - regardless of what else is coming out. Pokémon has obviously been a very popular property for decades, but nothing in the current zeitgeist can hold a candle to the clout Marvel has. Detective Pikachu may have had a chance of taking home the weekend crown if Endgame had a more modest debut, but Avengers is still a notable draw due to repeat business. Despite the three-hour runtime, some people have seen Endgame in theaters multiple times.
This probably isn't what WB had in mind knowing there was a two week cushion after Endgame, but these results would not be a disaster. $56 million is still a respectable start (higher than Shazam and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World), and Detective Pikachu will also get a boost from international markets. Pokémon has a large, global following and fans everywhere will turn up to see the positively-reviewed movie on the big screen. Plus, Detective Pikachu cost about $150 million to make, so it doesn't need to break any records of its own to turn a profit. At the time, Aquaman had the lowest opening weekend in the DC Extended Universe and ended up crossing $1 billion. All in all, Detective Pikachu should be fine.
Source: Box Office Pro
- Detective Pikachu (2019) release date: May 10, 2019