Weekend box office estimates for Sonic the Hedgehog are speeding towards a $60 million-plus start for big blue, a number that would catch and then K.O. the $54.3 million opening of Pokémon Detective Pikachu to score the biggest domestic opening for a video game adaptation not adjusted for inflation. The first live-action movie inspired by the long-running Sega video game franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog cost an estimated $85 million to produce and is viewed as a hopeful franchise starter for studio Paramount Pictures. Sonic's first place finish at this weekend's box office pushes Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey to second place with $20m, followed by Fantasy Island with $14.6 million to take third place for the weekend.
Sonic is miles ahead of live-action video game adaptations, beating Pikachu's $54.3 million, the Alicia Vikander-starring Tomb Raider's $23.6m, and Warcraft's $24.1m. 2018's Rampage, inspired by the Midway Games franchise of the same name, scored $35.7m with the star power of Dwayne Johnson.
"I certainly did not approach this in terms of adapting a video game for a film. Because I think that might be getting off on the wrong foot," director Jeff Fowler previously told GamesRadar when asked what sets Sonic the Hedgehog apart from past game-inspired movies. "I just really looked at Sonic as a character, like 'What do people love about this character? Why is he so popular and successful 30 years after he came out?' and just taking all those qualities and attributes of the character and really building a great story around him for a film."
The door is left open for a sequel — particularly with the late arrival of a familiar face — and should Fowler get the green light for Sonic 2, he envisions "opening it up and bringing in more of the characters that fans would love to see."
"In designing this film, the best approach was to go back to 1991 and that first game: Sonic vs. Robotnik," Fowler added. "Then, in terms of the lineage of the movies, you could look at what they did with those early games and that provides a great blueprint for future stories."
Based on the global blockbuster video game franchise from Sega, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG tells the story of the world's speediest hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth. In this live-action adventure comedy, Sonic and his new best friend Tom (James Marsden) team up to defend the planet from the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his plans for world domination. The family-friendly film also stars Tika Sumpter and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic.