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Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog made a loud boom at the Presidents Day box office with a three-day domestic opening of $58 million, a record for a video game adaptation. The film’s projected four-day gross of $70 million is among the best showings ever for the long holiday weekend, which coincided this year with Valentine’s Day.
Previously, 2019’s Pokemon Detective Pikachu boasted the top North American debut for a video game adaptation with a three-day start of $54.3 million, not adjusted for inflation.
Overseas, Sonic the Hedgehog launched to a strong $43 million from its first 40 markets for a global bow of $101 million through Sunday, and $113 million through Monday. Top markets included Mexico ($6.7 million) and the U.K. ($6.2 million).
The $87 million film — which received an A CinemaScore — is based on the popular Sega video game and sees the titular character (voiced by Ben Schwartz) team up with a small-town sheriff (James Marsden) to battle the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey).
Sonic the Hedgehog‘s better-than-expected launch is a big win for Paramount and director Jeff Fowler, who redesigned the character after a loud outcry from fans, even though it meant pushing the film’s release date.
Sonic quashed its next closest rival, Warner Bros. and DC’s Birds of Prey, which fell to No. 2 in its second weekend with an estimated $17 million over the three days and $19.9 million for the four-day frame. The troubled superhero pic tumbled 48 percent, a steep drop for a holiday weekend, to finish Monday with a domestic total of $62.2 million. Internationally, it took in $23 million in its sophomore outing for a foreign tally of $83.6 million.
Sony’s Blumhouse-produced Fantasy Island, a horror reimagining of the classic television series of the same name, bowed in third place with an estimated $12.4 million for the three days and $14 million for the four, despite getting tagged with a C- CinemaScore.
Overseas, Fantasy Island scared up $7.6 million from its first 35 markets for a global start of $21.6 million. Directed and written by Jeff Wadlow, the $7 million pic stars Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Portia Doubleday, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen and Michael Rooker.
Universal and producer Will Packer’s The Photograph followed in fourth place, with a three-day opening of $12.3 million and projected four-day gross of $13.3 million. The romantic drama — timed to Valentine’s Day — stars Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield and was written and directed by Stella Meghie. The $15 million film received a B+ CinemaScore.
After Sonic the Hedgehog, the weekend’s other big headline was Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which feasted on its top Oscar wins by grossing a huge $5.7 million for the three days — its biggest weekend to date — and an estimated $6.8 million for the four.
The specialty film from Neon, which first opened in select theaters in early October, moved up the chart to No. 7 as it expanded its theater count to 2,001 sites, its widest footprint to date. Its U.S. total through Monday is an estimated $44.5 million, one of the best showings ever for a foreign-language film. And according to Neon, it enjoyed the biggest post-Oscar jump of any best-picture winner — at 245 percent — in a decade.
Parasite even topped the new specialty pic Downhill, starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. From Searchlight, Downhill opened to $5.1 million for the four days after flunking with a D CinemaScore from audiences. The black comedy, which made its premiere last month at the Sundance Film Festival, opted to open nationwide in 2,301 cinemas versus a limited release.
Elsewhere, Bad Boys for Life rounded out the top five with $11.5 million for the three days and an estimated $113 million for the four, putting the pic’s worldwide cume at a dazzling $370 million through Monday.
Sam Mendes’ 1917 followed in sixth place with an estimated $8.1 million for the three days and $9.4 million for the four days. Overseas, the Amblin and Universal release took in another $13.6 million as it marched past the $178 million mark internationally for a worldwide total of roughly $322 million. The movie’s stellar global cume should help to ease the sting of losing the best picture Oscar race to Parasite.
Feb. 17, 8:15 a.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.
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