How ‘Detective Pikachu’ Beat the Video Game Adaptation Curse

  • Variety
Hollywood has long struggled when it comes to big-screen adaptations of popular video games, making Warner Bros. and Legendary’s “Detective Pikachu” and its $54.5 million debut in North America all the more impressive.

Even with “Avengers: Endgame” still turbocharging the box office, “Detective Pikachu” came dangerously close to dethroning Marvel’s latest juggernaut, which collected $65 million in its third weekend in theaters — an outcome few might have predicted weeks ago. “Detective Pikachu” also enjoyed the best opening weekend ever for a video-game adaptation.

Entrenched fans and passionate gamers have long dismissed adaptations like “Super Mario Bros.” and “Doom” for failing to bring justice to the source material. Likewise, narrative storytellers have struggled to remain faithful to the video game experience without capturing the feeling of playing one.

“Most adaptations lose something in the process of going from one platform to another,” said Shawn Robbins, an analyst at Boxoffice.com. “Sometimes
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