Sonic the Hedgehog debut in cinemas this week to relatively positive reviews. It offers nothing much to adults beyond harmless fun but kids will have a huge blast watching Sonic run around throwing rings and kicking Jim Carey’s ass without having their intelligence insulted. It currently has a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average critic rating of 5.82/10. It does have a whopping 95% audience score though. And while that’s not always a good indicator of how the film is going to perform at the box office (see Terminator: Dark Fate which has an 82% audience score on RT but performed poorly at the box office and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which has a 43% audience score on RT but is one of the 14th highest-grossing movie of all time), Sonic the Hedgehog made a crap ton of money in its opening weekend.
Sonic grossed $US 68 million in North America this past weekend, making it the biggest opening weekend ever for a video game movie in North America. The film also grossed $US 43 million outside of North America for a $US 111 million global cume. That’s a very healthy number to open — approximately $US 20+ million more than its estimated $US 85 – 95 million production budget.
As much I don’t like the idea that the internet basically forced director Jeff Fowler and Paramount studios to change the design, it clearly worked. What also works in the lack of competition. Both Bad Boys For Life and Birds of Prey are R-rated and targeted towards a different audience. The only thing Sonic has to worry about right now is Disney/Pixar’s Onward which comes out in theatres on the first week of March.
After a disappointing debut at the box office last week, Birds of Prey has continued to chug along nicely. After two weekends, the film has raked in $US 61.6 million in North America and $US 83.6 million outside of North America for a $US 145.2 million worldwide tally. This isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination considering its $US 85 million budget. Keep in mind that the general rule of thumb is that big-budget Hollywood films need to gross roughly two times more than its production budget before it starts to see real profits, due to marketing costs.
But while it’s not a cause for celebration, it’s definitely not the disaster some people are making it out to be. It does appear as if Birds of Prey‘s positive word of mouth (79% critic and audience score on Rotten Tomatoes) is keeping the movie jogging. I personally enjoyed the living crap out of the movie and hopes it achieves at least mediocre success at the box office.
As to why it isn’t doing well, there are a number of reasons I can think of. For starters, its title — Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. Yes, it’s creative and funny and I kind of like it, but the general masses have no idea what to make of it. It’s also incredibly not ‘Google Search’ friendly, something absolutely integral in today’s SEO day and age. Which is why Warner Bros has now opted to change the movie’s name to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. Given that the Cathy Yan film is primarily centred around Harley Quinn, this should’ve been the official title all along.
Sonic the Hedgehog and Birds of Prey are both playing in Malaysian cinemas now.
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