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Pokemon films hit $455m landmark

The franchise's 11 movies become Japan's highest-earning cartoon series

The Pokemon franchise's 11 animated films have collectively hit JPY 50 billion (USD 455 million) in revenues, becoming Japan's highest-earning cartoon series ever, according to the Japanese distributor Toho and reported by Variety.

The latest entry in the franchise, Giratina and the Sky's Bouquet: Shaymin, has earned USD 32 million since its July 19 release in Japan. The first Pokemon movie in 1999 was a box office hit and took in USD 85.7 in the US alone, making it the region's highest grossing anime film and third highest grossing movie based on a TV show worldwide.

Pokemon continues to be a successful videogame franchise, with a total of 13 handheld titles - either released or in development - along with five different console games. Over the years since the first game came out in 1996 on the Nintendo Game Boy, the franchise has expanded into CDs, TV shows and a range of branded apparel.

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