Hello Kitty, the billion-dollar Japanese brand that sells everything from clothes to toys to erotic massagers to little girls of all ages, is coming to a theater near you. Sanrio, which owns the red-bowed cat and her friends, announced plans to spend upwards of $200 million to make and release a feature film for 2019, according to the Japan Times.
“Sanrio Inc. can confirm that a U.S. based entity has been formed to create feature films based on Sanrio characters and to expand animated film and digital contents business globally,” the company said in a statement. “This entity further highlights Sanrio’s expansion into lifestyle entertainment. We have no additional details at this time.”
Hello Kitty recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, and has already been an animated TV show, beginnng with 1987’s Furry Tale Theaterand including Hello Kitty’s Paradise, which ran for 12 seasons. The movie announcement is the latest of several aggressive moves by Sanrio to leverage its catalog of animated characters. Earlier this year, Sanrio sold the film rights to its Mr. Men and Little Miss characters to Fox Animation.