Pokémon Is The Highest Grossing Franchise Ever
We constantly hear about the success of Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters like Infinity War and Black Panther. Star Wars may be the most recognizable and bankable franchise in history, despite its recent missteps. Thanks to Harry Potter’s status as best selling book series ever, J.K. Rowling’s net worth falls just short of a billion dollars. But none of these namebrands measure up to the champion: Pokémon. The video game giant ranks number one in all-time highest grossing franchises.
A full breakdown of the company’s sales indicates that the majority of Pokémon’s customers reside outside of Japan. Selling your product in 124 countries and regions tends to have that impact. To borrow an expression from sports, Pokémon’s sales figures look like video game numbers:
- 300 million video game units
- 25.7 billion trading cards
- 77.36 million moviegoers
- 4,000 products
- $59.1 billion total revenue
When you consider the constant stream of releases from The Pokémon Company, none of this should shock anyone. Pokémon Go finally added in a trading feature last week. A new manga just debuted in English. Pokémon Let’s Go will arrive on the Nintendo Switch November 16th. Series director Junichi Masuda announced the team is developing another core RPG for the Switch, which will launch in 2019. And that’s just the news from the past two months. Six months of 2018 remain for additional Pokémon news, debuts, and patches. Star Wars has never released content nearly as frequently and may never approach the number one spot, despite having a 19 year head start.
The full list of top earners contains a number of surprises. Sandwiched between Star Wars and Harry Potter, Hello Kitty rests closer to 2nd place (down $1.7 billion) than to 4th (up $14.7 billion). In fact, the difference between 3rd and 4th is greater than that of 4th and 27th. The Batman franchise holds only a $2.1 billion lead over the MCU, despite 69 extra years of existence. Who’d have thought Dora the Explorer ranks above Transformers, Spider-Man, and Dragon Ball? We often look only at the headlines for sales; those day-to-day transactions certainly total up quickly, and nobody does that better than Pokémon.
Are you surprised by the rankings? Do you see anyone making a run at Pokémon’s throne? Let us know in the comments, and follow DFTG on Twitter for more gaming and entertainment news!
Drew Weissman230 Posts
Drew is a freelance writer for DFTG. He's the former Managing Editor of Haogamers and has been published in the Chicago Tribune and The Paragon Journal. He also edited the novel Three Brightnesses and Artist Journey: Rachta Lin (2016 and 2017 editions).