When Jeff Fowler's Sonic The Hedgehog hit theaters in early 2020 (prior to the domestic arrival of COVID-19), it was instantly considered a hit – the video game movie earning $58 million in its opening weekend and easily stealing the #1 spot from Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn). It instantly solidified the blockbuster as a franchise-starter, and now, a little over two years later, the big screen series' hit status has been confirmed, as Fowler's Sonic The Hedgehog 2 has done even better than its predecessor in its first three days.
Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!
|TITLE||WEEKEND GROSS||DOMESTIC GROSS||LW||THTRS|
|1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2*||$71,000,000||$71,000,000||4,234|
|3. The Lost City||$9,164,841||$68,854,000||2||3,797|
|5. The Batman||$6,500,000||$359,002,148||3||3,254|
|6. Everything Everywhere All At Once||$6,059,263||$8,446,441||1,250|
|8. Spider-Man: No Way Home||$625,000||$803,815,848||5||1,009|
|9. Selena: 25th Anniversary||$402,280||$35,852,393||427|
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Outperforms Its Predecessor To Win The Weekend At The Box Office
Given the way in which the COVID-19 pandemic has suppressed and depressed movie-going habits in the last two years, it's exciting to see a sequel do better than its pre-pandemic predecessor. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 earned a more positive response from critics when reviews are aggregated, the movie sporting a 67 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes (four points higher than the 2020 release), and now the movie can say it outgrossed the original in its opening weekend as well.
As reported by The Numbers, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 made $71 million in its debut, which is the second biggest of 2022 thus far (Matt Reeves' The Batman made $134 million when it came out at the start of last month). It's the fourth substantial victory for Paramount Pictures in the calendar year, following their box office wins with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett's Scream, Jeff Tremaine's Jackass Forever, and Aaron and Adam Nee's The Lost City.
The performance by Sonic The Hedgehog 2 has also shattered a box office record – though its not all that surprising if you know the history. In 2020, Sonic The Hedgehog had the biggest opening weekend of any video game adaptation ever, and that held strong even a couple months ago when Ruben Fleischer's Uncharted had a strong opening weekend.
Now Sonic The Hedgehog 2 holds claim to having the best start ever for a movie based on a video game, and we'll just have to wait and see if it can outgross the original (which made $319.7 million before the end of its theatrical run) and lay claim to being the biggest video game adaptation of all time.
Having been released in a number of foreign territories at the end of last month, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 has already made $70 million outside of the United States and total, which means that to date it has made $141 million worldwide.
Michael Bay's Ambulance Doesn't Inspire As Much Excitement As Expected
What turned out to be good news for Sonic The Hedgehog 2, turned out to be bad news for Michael Bay's Ambulance. The movie didn't cost nearly as much to make as a typical Bay production ($40 million, according to Polygon), but it also didn't draw the audience that the director usually gets. The $8.7 million that the film earned this past weekend is the weakest start any of his theatrically-released features have had – despite the thriller getting a mostly positive response from critics.
At the very least, the movie is getting some support from overseas, where it was released prior to its domestic debut. Including the money made from North America this weekend, Ambulance has thus far made $31.2 million worldwide. This means that it still has a chance to be a profitable venture; it just needs word of mouth and buzz to keep it in the Top 10 in the weeks ahead.
Morbius Gets Utterly Crushed In Its Second Weekend
In last weekend's box office column, I specifically questioned what kind of legs we would see under Daniel Espinosa's Morbius, particularly given the fact that it was going to be facing some seriously stiff competition in its second Friday-to-Sunday. As it turns out, the comic book blockbusters metaphorical lower limbs are reminiscent of the tiny infant ones that Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool grows back in David Leitch's Deadpool 2 after his body is cut in half.
In short, the comic book movie didn't so much run in its second week as fall flat on its vampire face.
It turns out that there was a lot of crossover between the audience for Morbius and for Sonic The Hedgehog 2, and in the last three days they abandoned the former in favor of the latter. The $10.2 million made represents a catastrophic drop of 74 percent from weekend-to-weekend, and it's not exactly expected to bounce back in what remains of April. The would-be blockbuster has received some of the worst reviews of 2022, and while a base level of curiosity in what the adventure has to offer led the movie to a $39 million start, it's looking like its success is front-loaded.
Looking ahead, the PG-13 Morbius is likely going to fade from the Top 10 quickly. Not only does it look like audiences are going to be much more likely to double dip Sonic 2 than the latest entry from Sony's Spider-Man Universe, but there is even more family-friendly fare set to debut on the big screen in the next couple of weeks, including David Yates' Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore and Pierre Perifel's animated The Bad Guys.
Morbius has made $112.8 million globally thus far, but that's not so great when you consider the reported $75 million budget (which doesn't include marketing or publicity costs) and note that Andy Serkis' Venom: Let There Be Carnage made $141.4 million domestically by the end of its second weekend in theaters.
Everything Everywhere All At Once Goes Into Wide Release And Finds Even More Success
Arguably the most exciting movie now playing in theaters everywhere is Daniels' Everything Everywhere All At Once, which has earned near unanimous praise from critics and has spent the last few weeks crushing in limited release (last weekend I highlighted the fact that the film was working with a stunning $26,631 per theater average). Now the multiverse-centric sci-fi feature is playing nationwide, and it continues find curious audiences.
Playing in over 1,200 new locations starting this past Friday, Everything Everywhere All At Once brought its domestic total up to $8.4 million, meaning that it is now in the Top 20 of films theatrically released by A24 (it's also easily among the best movies released by the studio). As I note in my review of the film for CinemaBlend, it's a genius piece of work, and if you haven't seen it already, now is the time.
Coming up next weekend, the box office will be getting a shake-up with two new films in wide release: the aforementioned Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore, which continues the big screen legacy of the Harry Potter franchise, and Rosalind Ross' Father Stu, starring Mark Wahlberg and Jackie Weaver. How will the two titles perform during the Easter holiday weekend, and shuffle the Top 10? Be sure to head back here to CinemaBlend next Sunday to see the results.
To learn about all of the features set to hit theaters and streaming in what remains of the year, check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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