Apr 11, 2022 - Economy

"Sonic" sequel has record weekend opener for a video game movie

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Paramount's "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" brought in $71 million at the domestic box office this weekend, beating its predecessor — the first "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie from 2020 — as the top video game movie opener in history.

Why it matters: Movies adapted from video games aren't typically box office winners, but momentum is slowly starting to build around the genre as families return to theaters.

  • "There is no better proof of the return of families to the cinema than a much better than expected opening weekend debut for 'Sonic 2,'" Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Axios.
  • "The 'Lightyear' and 'Minions' teams should rest easier tonight," he said, alluding to the two upcoming movie spinoffs from the "Toy Story" and "Despicable Me" franchises.

Details: Paramount's latest Sonic hit beat analyst expectations, bringing in $108 million worldwide in its opening weekend.

  • Last month, Sony's "Uncharted" also beat its weekend opener expectations, despite mixed reviews, Axios reported.
  • The first "Sonic the Hedgehog" film debuted over Presidents' Day weekend in early 2020, just before pandemic lockdowns began closing theaters nationwide. That film brought in $58 million at the domestic box office over the three-day holiday weekend.
  • More video games are being adapted for film and TV. This year, Netflix released the second season of "The Witcher" and Paramount+ debuted a series based on the game franchise "Halo." A "Super Mario Bros." film is expected later this year.

The big picture: Video game adaptations and other genres, such as romantic comedies, have been doing surprisingly well in theaters so far this year.

  • This may be the year audiences "re-embrace" the genres that "defined their formative moviegoing experiences" as more people return to theaters, Dergarabedian said.

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