Pokemon Is Bigger Than Marvel, Star Wars, And DC

By Douglas Helm | Published


If you had to guess what the highest-grossing media franchise in the world was, your first instinct might be some Disney juggernaut like the Mickey Mouse universe or even something like Star Wars. However, there is one media franchise that leaves the MCU, DC, Star Wars, and even Disney’s all-powerful mouse in its dust – Pokemon. The franchise with a yellow mouse of its own looms over the other media franchise contenders with a whopping $88 billion since being introduced in 1996 by The Pokemon Company and Nintendo (aggregated via Wikipedia).

Pokemon is worth $88 billion, that’s more then Mickey Mouse ($52 billion), Star Wars ($46 billion), Marvel ($32 billion for the MCU), and Batman ($29 billion).

The Pokemon Company and Nintendo pull in the bulk of the franchise’s revenue from licensed merchandise, which accounts for around $80.8 billion. Other contributors include mobile games with $6.13 billion, box office sales with $1.156 billion, and, strangely, jet aircraft livery sales at $3 million. That final category comes from aircraft operated by All Nippon Airways, which have characters from the franchise painted on the sides of the aircraft.

While Disney’s properties are certainly popular in other parts of the world, it’s undeniable that Pokemon is one of the most globally recognized and popular brands comparatively. While something like an MCU film could be exceedingly popular in the United States, the battle monster franchise still beats it out in overall popularity, and this is especially the case in major markets like Nintendo’s home country of Japan.

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Star Wars

Pokemon’s revenue undoubtedly comes primarily from its video games, the original medium it was introduced as, and the card game, which has continued to grow in popularity over the years.

It’s a global phenomenon that hasn’t slowed down much since its introduction, with mainline entries to the video game line of the franchise still pulling in boatloads of money despite middling reviews.

Pokemon’s revenue undoubtedly comes primarily from its video games, the original medium it was introduced as, and the card game, which has continued to grow in popularity over the years. The hugely popular anime, the cute plushy merchandise, and the incredibly accessible mobile games have only continued to expand the franchise’s audience and introduce it to new generations of would-be trainers. While the House of Mouse might own a ton of IPs, none of them will likely ever be able to individually stand against the power of Pikachu.


Of course, collectively, a company like Disney is able to beat Pokemon’s revenue numbers. Disney’s Mickey Mouse & Friends universe comes in at second place on the highest-grossing media franchise list with around $52 billion, the Disney-owned Star Wars has pulled in $46.7 billion, the Disney-owned Winnie the Pooh has brought in $48.4 billion, the Disney Princess franchise has made around $45.4 billion, and the MCU claims roughly $32.2 billion.

Pokemon has been the most valuable franchise in the world for years, with new shows, more games, and the card game still going strong, it’s not going to give up the top spot without a fight.

That’s roughly $224.7 billion between these franchises alone, but it’s less impressive when you consider how widespread it is and how some were merely acquisitions.

Pokemon certainly crushes one of Disney’s oldest and most well-known media franchises, the aforementioned Mickey Mouse & Friends. As mentioned, it has $52 billion compared to Pokemon’s $88 billion. That’s pretty impressive, considering Disney’s franchise, introduced in 1928, got an almost 70-year head-start on Pokemon, which was introduced not that long ago in 1996.