‘Sonic 2’ leads to the Box Office. Michael Bay’s ambulance benches

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” grossed $ 71 million in its domestic box office debut, a promising sign that family audiences feel better when it returns to theaters.

Winning No. 1, Paramount’s child-friendly film surpassed Sony’s Marvel “Morbius” portfolio and Universal’s Michael Bay “Ambulance” action adventure, which debuted in fourth place for a disappointing $ 8 , 7 million.

Ticket sales for “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” set a new high watermark for video game adaptations, replacing the opening weekend record set by its predecessor, “Sonic the Hedgehog” 2020. The first film grossed 58 million dollars in its first three days of release and completed the President’s vacation weekend with $ 70 million.

Abroad, the sequel to “Sonic” added $ 37 million from 53 regions, bringing its international record to $ 70 million and its global total to $ 141 million.

“This is a great opening,” said David A. Gross, director of film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “With good reviews and very good audience ratings, ‘Sonic’ will have a strong run.”

Jeff Fowler returned to direct “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” after leading the original film to $ 319 million worldwide (before COVID-19 prevailed) and set a record for adapting the highest-grossing video games in the North. Ben Schwartz returned to express the voice of the fast blue creature with the ability to destroy bad guys and Jim Carrey reiterated his role as the mad scientist Dr. Robotnik, a combination that has proven to be a hit with moviegoers. “Sonic 2” received a positive “A” CinemaScore from the audience. Film critics were mixed, as evidenced by the film’s average rating of 68% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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“This film did a great job of serving the fans, without excluding the general public,” said Chris Aronson, president of Paramount Home Distribution. “This is a neat trick.”

“Sonic the Hedgehog” continues a hot series of tickets for Paramount, marking the studio’s fourth film in 2022, which opens in first place. The others were “The Lost City”, “Scream” and “Jackass Forever”. It’s a necessary recovery as Paramount largely moved out of theaters during the pandemic, selling titles such as Aaron Sorkin’s court drama “The Trial of Chicago 7”, Eddie Murphy’s comedy sequel “Coming 2 America” And Michael B. Jordan ‘s action thriller “No Regrets” on streaming services.

Universal, on the other hand, endured an awkward start to the new year. The gangster movie “The 355” and the religious drama “Redeeming Love” hit the box office, while Jennifer Lopez’s romantic comedy “Marry Me” has not lived up to expectations since the movie opened day by day on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streamer. . Holdover from the Illumination comedy “Sing 2”, which has grossed $ 162 million since December, was a highlight. And a stacked summer record, including “Jurassic World Dominion,” “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” and Jordan Peel’s horror film “Nope,” seems to be ruining those fortunes.

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” cost $ 90 million, far more than the $ 40 million allocated by Bay and Universal for “Ambulance.” This is a relatively cheap price for a movie that is heavy on explosive and special effects. However, the $ 40 million does not include the many millions spent on marketing and other efforts required to spread the word about the film.

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Abroad, the R-rated “Ambulance” grossed $ 22.4 million from 68 international markets, raising the film’s worldwide gross to $ 31.1 million. Ticket buyers, at least those in North America, seemed to enjoy the movie, which secured an “A-” CinemaScore. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Candyman”, “The Matrix Resurrections”) and Eiza Gonzalez (“Baby Driver”), the film follows two step-brothers who become bank robbers, who steal an ambulance and hold the occupants of the vehicle hostage. .

“With excellent audience ratings, I think we’re going to have a great look inside,” said Universal Home Distribution President Jim Orr.

At the domestic box office, the innocent start for “Ambulance” is another sign of a change in consumer preferences. The kind of adrenaline-fueled mojo that turned Bay’s previous films, such as “Armageddon” and “Pearl Harbor,” into hits, does not always work today. In today’s cinema environment, fewer genres seem to resonate with ticket buyers.

“There were a lot of these movies in the theater,” Gross said of the police thrillers. “But today’s audience wants something different each time – the bar is higher now.” He adds, “At a cost of $ 40 million plus marketing, the film is unlikely to recoup the cost, even with better overseas numbers and good ancillary value for Peacock.”

In second place, “Morbius,” a comic book adventure starring Jared Leto and set in Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters, grossed $ 10.2 million, a staggering 74% drop from its opening weekend. After two weeks in theaters, the $ 75 million “Morbius” has grossed $ 57 million in North America and $ 69.3 million internationally.

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The romantic action adventure of Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum “The Lost City” reached No. 3, before “Ambulance” and “The Batman”. The Paramount Pictures movie added $ 9.1 million from 3,797 locations in its third weekend of release, down just 38% from the previous one. So far, “The Lost City” has raised $ 68.8 million at the domestic box office, which is a strong result for the genre. However, the film’s production cost $ 68 million, so the international audience will be the key to turning “The Lost City” into a commercial winner.

Completing the top five, Robert Pattison’s Caped Crusader story “The Batman” grossed $ 6.5 million from 3,254 venues. The Warner Bros. movie, which will land on HBO Max until next week, has grossed $ 358 million domestically and $ 376 million overseas. With $ 735 million worldwide, it is currently the highest grossing film of the year at the domestic and global box office.

In sixth place, the A24 action-adventure-comedy-fantasy-sci-fi mashup “Everything Everywhere All at Once” had a strong expansion after two weeks of limited release. Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and starring Michelle Yeoh, the film grossed $ 6 million in 1,250 theaters. The critically acclaimed “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, in which Yeoh’s character is in a multiverse, has grossed $ 8.4 million to date.

“Give this film a huge commendation for the successful challenge of the genre, for the fact that it did so on a budget and for playing on more than 1,200 screens,” says Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research.

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