Sonic the Hedgehog 2 raced to the biggest box office opening weekend for a video game adaptation in history, collecting $72.1 million in the U.S. and another $70 million internationally. That’ll buy a lot of gold rings.
The take was good enough to top the domestic box office table during its opening weekend, overtaking Sony’s Morbius. Historically, Sonic replaces himself on top of the video game adaptation hierarchy, as the original film pulled in $70 million over the 2020 President’s Day holiday. It’s worth noting that film came out over a holiday weekend, but more impressive still is that the original record was set just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. Perhaps this weekend’s performance could be a sign of hope for post-pandemic moviegoing.
Sonic the Hedgehog eventually pulled $148.9M domestically, setting the record as the highest-grossing video game adaptation in North America. It’s no surprise then that Paramount trusted Jeff Fowler, who directed the first, to return to the chair for Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Other returning Sonic alumni include Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, and James Marsden. The acting trio is joined this time around by Idris Elba as Knuckles and Colleen O’Shaughnessey as fan favorite Tails, a character she also voices in the Sonic video games.
Reviews for the film have been generally positive, with most critics recognizing the film as at least a serviceable entry to the franchise with virtues outweighing its faults.
Whether Paramount’s theatrical strategy will be emulated by studios like Disney and Netflix, which have recently relegated their family fare to streaming (Luca, Turning Red, The Mitchells vs. The Machines) remains to be seen. Perhaps a better litmus test will come in July, when Paramount releases Paws of Fury, an entirely animated feature that doesn’t have a popular franchise providing its foundation.