Dear Santa, I Want A Blockbuster
Hollywood didn't need a huge windfall to make this a record year at the box office. But it got one in the form of Pokemon: The First Movie, a big-screen version of the trading-card/video-game/TV-show mania that has seized America's elementary school children. By Thanksgiving, 15 days after the movie opens, it will probably pass $100 million at the box office, a nifty return for Warner Bros., which paid Nintendo Co. $5 million for the rights to rework the Japanese animated film with American voices. A day after the Pokemon movie hit the cineplexes, Warner ordered up a new 800 phone number to handle requests by outraged kids and their parents who were unable to get promised Pokemon cards with their movie tickets. "I'm not even sure we realized how big this was going to be," says Brad A. Ball, Warner's president for U.S. marketing.
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