Amazing what a makeover can do, isn’t it?
Last April, it looked as if the fastest hedgehog in entertainment was headed straight for a brick wall. When Paramount Pictures dropped its first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog, a movie inspired by Sega’s endearing video game character, the reaction was universal: “AAAAAGH!” The eyes were weird. The face was creepy. And those horrible, horrible teeth!
Paramount, hearing the screams of anguish and terror, pushed the film’s release date back and completely revamped the look of the character. The result? Oh, just the biggest opening for a video game film adaptation ever.
Sonic the Hedgehog earned an estimated $57 million in North America over the traditional three-day weekend, with President’s Day still to go. If the movie continues to draw fans as predicted, Sonic could finish the extended holiday weekend with $68 million—which would make it the fourth largest President’s Day weekend opening ever. Clearly, Sonic is spinning in the right direction.
Birds of Prey—or, as it’s apparently been retitled by most theater chains, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey—dropped to second place with $17.1 million. The movie has now earned about $59.3 million, less than half of what Harley Quinn’s first film, Suicide Squad, collected in its first week.
Two newcomers, Fantasy Island and The Photograph, are locked in a photo finish for third place as of press time. Fantasy Island, a horror flick based on a cheesy 1980s television show, has a narrow lead according to the early estimates, banking $12.4 million to The Photograph’s $12.3 million. But no matter: If the makers of Fantasy Island had traveled to the wish-granting resort themselves, they surely could’ve come up with a better fantasy than this. De pain! De pain!
(Still, both of those newcomers finished better than fellow freshman flick Downhill—a title that proved prophetic. The black comedy tumbled down the box-office mountain and came to a stop in 10th place, earning just $4.7 million.)
Bad Boys for Life closed out the top five with an $11.3-million weekend, pushing its total gross to $181.3 million.
In the wake of last weekend’s Academy Awards broadcast, only one film saw an appreciable bump: Parasite, Oscar’s biggest winner. The South Korean film increased its box-office draw by a whopping 234%, earning $5.5 million in North America. Its total gross now stands at $43.2 million.