American Girl is the latest Mattel toy to get live-action feature film

  • Mattel has greenlighted an America Girl feature film.
  • This is the third feature film that the toy company has announced since launching its film division in September.
  • The film announcement comes at a time in which American Girl dolls are experiencing poor sales.
American Girl doll by Mattel
Source: Mattel
American Girl doll by Mattel

American Girl is the latest Mattel toy brand to get the green light for a live-action feature film.

Mattel announced Friday that it has partnered with MGM and Picturestart to bring the iconic dolls to the big screen.

This is the third feature film that the toy company has revealed since launching its film division in September. In January, the company announced it had tapped Margot Robbie ("Suicide Squad," "I, Tonya") to play Barbie and revealed it would produce a live-action Hot Wheels film based on the iconic car toys.

After the bankruptcy, liquidation and closure of Toys R Us, many toy manufacturers faced issues with sales, having lost 10 to 15 percent of the shelf space designated for toys at retail.

The film announcement comes at a time in which American Girl dolls are experiencing poor sales. In recent years, more children have gravitated toward video games and electronics instead of traditional toys. In the most recent quarter, sales of American Girl were down 27 percent.

Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz hopes to revive sales across the board by launching films that feature its famous brands.

"American Girl is a beloved, story-driven franchise lending itself perfectly to a feature film," Kreiz said in a statement Friday.

Rival Hasbro has excelled in taking its properties and translating them to successful television shows, movies and online videos. Theatrical releases of its "Transformers" films alone have grossed more than $4 billion at the international box office.

This is not the first time an American Girl character has been brought to the big screen. In 2008, "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," hit theaters. The film gross about $17 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo.

The film was well-received by critics, earning an 80 percent "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the film did not resonate as well with consumers, of which only 68 percent said they liked the film on Rotten Tomatoes.

Mattel has not disclosed if the film will feature one iconic American Girl or several.