Ever since Marvel showed Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury sauntering up to Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark to introduce the Avengers initiative in 2008’s Iron Man, the post-credits scene has become a staple of franchise filmmaking. It is now the flashy creative device to tease fans with what’s to come in future installments of a blockbuster series.
Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment’s Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is hitting theaters this weekend, and you might find yourself asking if it, too, boasts a post-credits scene. Well, without diving fully into spoiler territory, we can tell you that it does not have any end-credits stingers. Sorry to disappoint.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we shouldn’t expect to see more live-action big-screen Pokémon stories. Detective Pikachu provides more than enough fodder for a return journey to this world and could very well be the start of a new Hollywood franchise. At the very least, Warner Bros. and Legendary seem to think so.
In January, it was reported that 22 Jump Street screenwriter Oren Uziel had been hired to work on a sequel to Detective Pikachu, a show of great confidence in the property. Around the same time, rumors began swirling that a live-action Pokémon Red and Blue movie was in development, though that was never confirmed. Then, in March, Legendary executives began hyping up a potential Pokémon Cinematic Universe.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Detective Pikachu will make quite as much money at the box office as some prognosticators thought it would. It’s on pace for an opening of $50 million to $70 million in North America, and $50 million to $60 million in China. Projections peg the film for a worldwide opening of roughly $150 million.
The studios likely would have preferred a global debut of more than $200 million. But the $150 million–budgeted Detective Pikachu doesn’t need to make Avengers: Endgame money to be considered a hit. All it needs to do is make a solid profit relative to its costs and be decently received by moviegoers. This feat is well within its reach.