According to Yahoo Movies, Warner Brothers has acquired the rights to the first Yu-Gi-Oh! feature film and plans to release it on August 13, 2004.  The film, which is currently in the final stages of production in Japan, is based on the same manga property that has inspired the number one animated TV series on American TV and the premier collectible card game (CCG) in the U.S market.  Unlike many current animated features, the new Yu-Gi-Oh! film will be done in the traditional 2-D Japanese anime fashion, and not computer-generated.  Warners plans to tie the feature very closely to the popular Yu-Gi-Oh! CCG from Upper Deck.  Everyone who buys a ticket to the film will receive a promotional card from the Yu-Gi-Oh! CCG.


Warner Brothers, which released the first three Pokemon movies, has had a lot of experience marketing animated features tied to popular CCGs.  The first Pokemon film, which netted over $85 million at the box office, is still the most popular anime theatrical release in U.S. history.  While Yu-Gi-Oh!, which has scarier monsters and edgier storylines, has not reached the heights attained by Pokemon at the peak of its boom, the Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series remains the number one show on the number one network for the all-important Saturday morning kids' shows.  The first ratings released from the 2003-2004 season, covering the start of the new TV campaign, find Yu-Gi-Oh! firmly ensconced as the number one program with boys 6-11, tweens 9-14, and male tweens 9-14.  In addition to the CCG from Upper Deck, Viz publishes Yu-Gi-Oh! graphic novels, and Mattel produces a variety of Yu-Gi-Oh! toys.