Sonic the Hedgehog raced into theaters over the weekend and it proved to be quite the successful debut. Paramount Pictures' adaptation of the iconic Sega video game series set a new record for video game movies at the box office, earning a reported $57 million over the weekend. It's expected to wind up with a $70 million finish come Tuesday morning at the end of the full, extended President's Day weekend, which makes this a massive win.
The previous opening weekend record for a video game movie came last year with Detective Pikachu. The live-action Pokemon movie earned $54.3 million on its opening weekend in May of last year, ultimately finishing with $144.1 million domestic and $288.9 million from international markets, giving it a total of $433 million. This bodes very well for Sonic the Hedgehog as it looks to keep the cash coming in over the coming weeks. The good news for the speedy blue guy is that the competition coming down the pipeline isn't all that fierce, with Call of the Wild and Brahms: The Boy 2 opening next weekend.
With the $43 million the movie took in overseas, Sonic the Hedgehog has earned $113 million worldwide. Considering its estimated $90 million budget, that puts it in a great place to become a big earner for Paramount. Will it have long enough legs to become the highest-grossing video game movie ever? That title still belongs to Warcraft ($439 million) but it certainly seems possible at this point. This box office win is magnified when looking at the circumstances surrounding this movie's road to release, which was quite complicated, to say the very least of it.
The adaptation was originally set up at Sony before they decided not to move forward with it. Paramount then stepped in and picked up the project as-was, with Deadpool director Tim Miller set to produce and first-time feature director Jeff Fowler at the helm. James Marsden was brought in as the lead, with Ben Schwartz of Parks and Recreation fame voicing Sonic. Jim Carrey added some star power as the evil Dr. Robotnik. Things were going well up until the trailer reveal, which gave fans a look at Sonic's original design. Long legs, lots of teeth, pure disaster.
Online backlash was so strong that the studio delayed the release by three months and redesigned Sonic entirely, which was a big ask considering he appears throughout most of the movie. Yet, when the new trailer dropped and the Sonic redesign was revealed, people seemed much happier. In the end, it paid off. Critics, thus far, have been relatively kind to Sonic the Hedgehog, as it holds a 64 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. More importantly, the audience score stands at a stellar 95 percent, to go along with A CinemaScore. That should help fuel word of mouth in the weeks to come. This news comes to us via Box Office Mojo.