Nintendo, fresh off its success with The Super Mario Bros. Movie, is making another play for the silver screen. On Wednesday, the video game company rolled out Shigeru Miyamoto, the famed designer of the Mario series, to announce a new film based on another of his creations: The Legend of Zelda.
The company is working with Sony Pictures Entertainment to make the film, which will be co-produced by Miyamoto and Avi Arad, founder of Marvel Studios and a producer for Sony’s “Spider-Man” movies. “We have now officially started the development with Nintendo itself heavily involved in the production,” Miyamoto wrote in a statement on X.
Nintendo released the first game in the Zelda franchise in 1986. The series now consists of 19 games and three remakes. The two most recent Zelda titles—2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 2023’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom—are among the top ten most popular titles on Nintendo’s Switch console, selling 31.2 million and 19.5 million copies respectively.
The video game company is trying to leverage its portfolio of intellectual property to create new revenue streams.
Nintendo worked with Illumination, creator of the Despicable Me series, to create The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The film was a massive success, grossing $1.3 billion in ticket sales. Mario’s box office take makes it the second biggest film this year so far, behind Barbie.
Nintendo also partnered with NBCUniversal to create Mario-themed areas at Universal’s theme parks in Osaka, Japan and Los Angeles.
“Nintendo is creating new opportunities to have people from around the world to access the world of entertainment which Nintendo has built, through different means apart from its dedicated game consoles,” the company said in a statement announcing the new Zelda film.
Shares of Nintendo rose by about 6% on the Tokyo stock exchange on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Nintendo announced net sales of 796.2 billion Japanese yen ($5.28 billion) in the first half of its fiscal year, which ends March 2024. It’s the highest half-year revenue reported since the company launched its Switch console in 2017. The company also upgraded its profit forecast for the fiscal year, expecting 420 billion Japanese yen ($2.79 billion) in net profit, up from a previous estimate of 340 billion Japanese yen ($2.26 billion).
But Nintendo stuck to a less optimistic forecast for sales of its now seven-year-old console. The company is sticking with its target of selling 15 million Switch consoles this fiscal year, which would be a 16.5% decline from the year before.