The ever popular iconic Japanese series Hello Kitty is now a major brand. The red bowed cat from Hello Kitty is famous globally now and its Japanese creators are looking to cash in on her success. The little symmetrically whiskered kitten is getting her own film adaptation.
The Japanese lifestyle company Sanrio has taken the initiative to finance and produce a feature based on the eponymous character from the Hello Kitty series and release it globally sometime in 2019. The film will get released through Sanrio’s recently established U.S. subsidiary. The project has been projected to have an expected budget of anywhere between $160 million to $240 million, which may include publicity costs according to Sanrio executives. It remains to be seen if the kitty can make a splash on the box office and boost the franchise some more.
Hello Kitty is also known as Kitty White or Kitty Howaito and was created by Yuko Shimizu and is currently being designed by Yuko Yamaguchi. The character is a major seller world over and especially so in Japan, where it is a major brand in the Kawaii (Japanese word for cuteness) segment. Originally aimed at pre-adolescent females segment of the market, Hello Kitty’s market has grown to include adult consumers. Her likeness can be found on a variety of products ranging from school supplies to fashion accessories and high-end consumer products. Several Hello Kitty TV series, targeted towards young children, have been produced for Japanese television. Hello Kitty is also the main character at the two Japanese Sanrio theme parks, Harmonyland and the indoor Sanrio Puroland.
The new US subsidiary of the Japanese Sanrio Corporation, Sanrio Media & Pictures Entertainment, was established in June this year to help exploit the Japanese company’s products and brand library worldwide. Fox Animation has acquired the film rights to Sanrio’s Mr. Men and Little Miss characters in January this year. Sanrio’s managing director Rehito Hatoyama was named chief executive of the new U.S. unit and is expected to oversee the Hello Kitty project.
Photo Source: Facebook/ Hello Kitty