Home Entertainment Weekend box office – Sonic the Hedgehog speeds into the record books

Weekend box office – Sonic the Hedgehog speeds into the record books

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To paraphrase: If you build it for the second time after they mock your misguided first attempt on the internet, they will come. That appears to be what happened this weekend past as Sonic the Hedgehog sped its way to the top of the US box office chart with a $57 million opening. That far exceeds the original $40 million predictions, and with the Presidents’ Day public holiday in the US today, that number is expected to climb up to a whopping $70 million+ for the four-day weekend.

Even without that extra day though, Sonic will still enter the history books as it exceeded Pokemon: Detective Pikachu’s $54 million to post the biggest three-day opening weekend for a video game adaptation ever. On the international front it wasn’t able to match Detective Pikachu’s huge haul though, but still did admirably as it earned $43 million to push its global total after three days to $100 million. The film still needs to open in Japan though, and a China release date is currently unclear due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Sonic took a loopy route to the big screen. There was much mockery and ire from fans after the first images and trailer hit the net showing off a creepily too-realistic rendition of the titular blue speedster. In the midst of all that backlash, director Jeff Fowler and Paramount did an unexpected thing: They actually listened. Pushing back the film’s release date, Fowler and co redid the film’s VFX with a redesigned Sonic that hewed much closer to his classic cartoonish look. The result was a much better received second trailer. And it would appear that the fans are now paying back the filmmakers for their efforts by turning Sonic the Hedgehog into a box office hit. The fact that it’s actually drawing very solid reviews with an A+ Cinemascore isn’t hurting either.

Of course, with Sonic exceeding expectations that means there was less money to go around for everybody else. And that includes Birds of Prey which had hoped to turn its fortunes around through very positive word of mouth after a dismal opening weekend last week. And although the DC Comics team-up film did slightly better than expected, it could still only add $17.1 million. With another $23 million coming from international markets, Birds of Prey is now just shy of $143 million globally. That’s still not enough to break even.

The battle for third and fourth place was incredibly close this weekend past as Blumhouse horror Fantasy Island narrowly edged out Universal’s romantic drama The Photograph with $12.4 million to $12.2 million. All the way down in tenth place we find the other newcomer for the weekend in Downhill. The Will Ferrell-led English-language remake of 2014 Swedish hit Force Majeure exceeded expectations for its very limited release as it earned $4.6 million.

Also of note on the chart is Parasite which saw a massive boom in the week following its four Oscar wins. The South Korean hit expanded by nearly 1000 cinemas and saw over a 200% increase. This week we also say goodbye to Knives Out which has been the little-movie-that-could as it hung around the top 10 for an incredibly impressive 12 weeks, posting the lowest week-on-week holdover drop among its peers for most of that time. With the bit it earned this weekend past, Knives Out has now passed the $300 million mark globally. On the other side of the spectrum, Cats has ended its theatrical run in the US with a meowgre meagre $27 million. Globally, the critical bomb has only earned $72 million, which could see the film lose Universal a whopping $100 million.

Let’s see what the rest of the US box office chart looks like:

No.Movie Name Weekend gross Percentage change US Domestic gross Worldwide gross Last Week's Position
1Sonic the Hedgehog $57 million NE $57 million $100 million NE
2Birds of Prey $17.1 million -48% $59.2 million $145.2 million 1st
3Fantasy Island $12.4 million NE $12.4 million $21.6 million NE
4The Photograph $12.2 million NE $12.2 million $13.3 million NE
5Bad Boys for Life $11.3 million -6% $181.3 million $369.8 million 2nd
61917 $8 million -12% $144.4 million $323.7 million 3rd
7Jumanji: The Next Level $5.7 million +3% $305.7 million $780 million 5th
8Parasite $5.5 million +234% $43.1 million $175.3 million 11th
9Dolittle $5 million -22% $70.5 million $182.3 million 4th
10Downhill $4.6 million NE $4.6 million $5.1 million NE

NE = New Entry

Last Updated: February 17, 2020

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