Sonic the Hedgehog Zooms Past Previous Video Game Movies to Make History with Huge Opening
The family film tops last year's Detective Pikachu to earn the top spot
As domestic box office reports poured in after the holiday weekend, Sonic zoomed past industry projections to rake in an estimated $58 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. With Monday’s Presidents Day ticket sales included, the family film’s total haul comes to $70 million.
Sonic, with its three-day earnings, now holds the title of highest opening weekend for a big-screen adaptation of a video game property.
The speedy blue hedgehog’s theatrical performance is ahead of other top video game movie opening weekends like 2016’s The Angry Birds Movie ($38 million) and 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ($47 million), IGN reported.
Success at the box office is especially good news for Sonic the Hedgehog after it bounced back from internet ridicule for its initial character animation for its titular hero.
When Paramount Pictures released the first trailer for the film — which stars Jim Carrey and James Marsden — fans were disapproving of Sonic’s humanoid design, not reminiscent of his look in the video game source material.
Originally intended for a Nov. 8, 2019, release date, the film was delayed three months in order to get the visual effects “just right,” director Jeff Fowler tweeted at the time. Sonic was soon redesigned in a move that now paid off for the studio.
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This is the first feature film from Fowler, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2005 for his animated short film Gopher Broke. On Tuesday, the director shared his joy in the film’s success, thanking fans for “sticking with” it.
“There’s one word in my head this morning and it’s GRATITUDE,” he wrote. “THANK YOU to all the amazing people that helped make the #SonicMovie and most importantly thank you to the FANS for sticking with us and delivering an extraordinary RECORD-BREAKING weekend. Much ??? to all of you!!!”
Parks and Recreation star Ben Schwartz, who voices Sonic in the movie, echoed appreciation for the fans, tweeting: “It’s all because of the fans that we are here. Thanks for your feedback, your passion & for your love of Sonic. You did this. Thank you!”
Sonic the Hedgehog is now playing in theaters nationwide.