Detective Pikachu: Starring Ryan Reynolds

Warner’s Detective Pikachu, the studio’s live-action Pokemon adaptation, competes this weekend with the mega-blockbuster Avengers: Endgame at the domestic box office.

Industry analysts are projecting a wide range between $56 million and $80 million when “Detective Pikachu” debuts in 4,200 North American theaters.

Warner is more conservatively predicting a three-day haul closer to $50 million. But if the movie is able to reach the higher end of that range, it could give “Avengers: Endgame” a run for the No. 1 spot.

Avengers: Endgame, the culmination to the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), has generated a massive $644.5 million in the US, making it the seventh-biggest domestic release ever after less than three weeks in theaters.

The superhero behemoth is also the second-biggest movie of all time with $2.27 billion in ticket sales worldwide, pacing behind only James Cameron’s “Avatar” and its epic $2.78 billion bounty.

“Avengers: Endgame” could collect around $67 million to $80 million in its third outing. if the tentpole sees a similar decline to its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War.

Bullish box office analysts believe Ryan Reynolds’ signature snark could bring some serious firepower to “Detective Pikachu.” Reynolds channels a toned-down version of his wise-cracking “Deadpool” to voice the illustrious yellow Pokemon.

“Detective Pikachu” centers on a teenager (Justice Smith) who, after getting word that his detective father has gone missing, teams up with his dad’s Pokemon partner to figure out what went wrong. Rob Letterman directed the film, based on the popular Pokemon series and the 2016 video game of the same name. “Detective Pikachu” is rated PG, making it the first in the Pokemon series without a G rating.

If “Detective Pikachu” becomes a hit, it’ll be the rare win for video-game to big-screen adaptations. As a whole, it’s a genre that’s filled with more misses than successes. (See: “Super Mario Bros., “Doom,” and more recently, Dwayne Johnson’s “Rampage.”) But barring a crowded marketplace, “Detective Pikachu” could break that curse. It’s one of the rare well-received adaptations, with a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Detective Pikachu” will need a solid word of mouth to have a life beyond its opening weekend. Even without “Avengers: Endgame,” summer movie season is heating up, and it’s about to get even more competitive at local multiplexes.

Over the course of May, “John Wick: Chapter 3,” “Aladdin,” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” will be vying for audience’s attention.

STX and United Artists Releasing are taking advantage of Mother’s Day weekend with Poms, an uplifting comedy starring Diane Keaton, and The Hustle, a female-led remake of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “Bedtime Stories.”

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