World box office: Sonic the Hedgehog leads the field

A still from Sonic the Hedgehog.
PHOTO: Paramount Pictures.

In a record-breaking US launch for a feature film adapted from a video game, garnering $100 million (S$140 million) in takings over the weekend, Sonic the Hedgehog has zoomed past Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) to take the lead in the world box-office rankings, according to the latest figures from Comscore.

Paramount is enjoying an unexpected success. In the wake of criticism of the design of the little blue character, changes wrought by the Sonic the Hedgehog team have paid off in spades.

According to figures reported by Comscore on Sunday, February 16, the film has earned $100 million in the global box office, including $57 million in North America alone, making it the most lucrative launch ever to be enjoyed by a video game adaptation.

Until now, the record was held by Detective Pikachu with Ryan Reynolds, which took in $54 million during its first weekend in theatres in May 2019.

What with this Monday, February 17, being a holiday for Presidents' Day in the United States, sales for the long weekend in that market could reach from $68 to 70 million, points out Variety.

This success can only grow following the film's release in Russia, scheduled for February 20, and Japan a month later on March 20. The film's release in China has currently been postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Queen of the global box office last week, Margot Robbie has been dethroned. The Australian actress who stars in Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is now having to make do with second place in the global rankings.

The action movie with a largely female cast took in an additional $40.1 million at the weekend, bringing its accumulated total since its release at the beginning of this month to $143 million in receipts worldwide.

The tenacious duo of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence has hung on to third place in the ranking with Bad Boys For Life, which garnered another $22.4 million. It is worth noting that the action comedy scored over a number of new releases including Fantasy Island, an adaptation of the eponymous TV series with Michael Peña and Lucy Hale.

For their part, 1917 and Parasite are continuing to draw audiences to theatres in the wake of their success at the Oscars. The film by Sam Mendes remained in fourth place with close to $21.7 million in additional takings, while the winner of four Oscars, Parasite by Bong Joon-ho, climbed three places to sixth with another $18.3 million.

The world box-office top 10 (in million dollars):

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog - 100
  2. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) - 40.1
  3. Bad Boys For Life - 22.4
  4. 1917 - 21.7
  5. Fantasy Island - 20
  6. Parasite - 18.3
  7. Dolittle - 13.8
  8. The Photograph - 12.3
  9. The Gentlemen - 10.8
  10. Little Women - 8.7