“Sonic the Hedgehog” Speeds to $57 Million Opening


February 14-16, 2020

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Sonic the Hedgehog  $57 million
Birds of Prey $17.1 million
Fantasy Island $12.4 million
The Photograph $12.1 million
Bad Boys for Life $11.3 million

With surprisingly strong reviews on its side, Sonic the Hedgehog bolted its way to a $57 million opening for the three days (and a likely $63 million when Monday's holiday is factored in). That's the best debut for a video game movie ever. That's all the more remarkable considering how widely mocked its first trailer was. But thanks to the tireless work of animators, Movie Sonic got a makeover and now looks closer to the popular video game character, and not something out of David Lynch's nightmares. The film teased a sequel, which Paramount should announce any day now, featuring Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) once again trying to catch that hedgehog.

Birds of Prey dipped 48 percent, which is pretty standard for comic book movies, though some are trying to spin it as an out-and-out disaster. It's certainly not that, and will almost certainly be one of the first movies of 2020 to pass $100 million. The film underwent a title change on some ticketing apps, but it didn't exactly ease its fall. Still, Warner Bros. has to be over the moon, especially considering how lousy their 2019 was aside from Joker.

Fantasy Island applied its horror concept to the old TV show, and scared up $12.4 million. That's definitely below Lucy Hale and director Jeff Wadlow's last horror outing Truth or Dare. Still, like all Blumhouse movies, it had a low budget that it's already earned back. The Photograph gave Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield lead roles, and its audience turned out for the Valentine's Day romance. Bad Boys for Life fell just 6 percent in its fifth weekend. It's made $181 million to date.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Portrait of a Lady on Fire returned to theaters after last year's brief Oscar-qualifying run (and those stupid Oscar voters didn't nominate it for a thing). The sumptuous romance averaged $20,041 on 22 screens.
  • Downhill couldn't handle the avalanche of new releases. The caustic dramedy starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus only earned $4.6 million in wide release, good enough for just 10th place.
  • Parasite celebrated its Best Picture win with a boost in theaters. Up 234 percent, the Korean dark comedy earned $5.5 million this weekend, putting it in fifth place among the highest-grossing foreign language films in the U.S.

Next week:

Harrison Ford and a CGI dog answer The Call of the Wild, taking on the horror sequel Brahms: The Boy II. I don't think either can stop Sonic the Hedgehog, though the former should make at least $20 million in its opening weekend, while I'd count on less than $10 million for the former.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.