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The PG-rated pic came in well ahead of expectations, starting off when earning $26.5 million from 4,234 theaters Friday. Paramount’s initial weekend estimate was $71 million for the weekend, but traffic was better than expected on Sunday.
Nearly 60 percent of the audience were families. Until now, titles largely depending upon kids and parents have struggled to break out because of the pandemic.
Sonic 2 is also one of the few films of the COVID-19 era to open ahead of its predecessor. Other bragging rights: It is now the biggest launch of all time for a video game adaptation, beating the first Sonic, and is also Paramount’s biggest three-day opening since 2014.
In February 2020 — a month before cinemas across the country shut down because of the growing COVID-19 crisis — the first Sonic opened to $58 million for the three-day Presidents’ Day weekend on its way to becoming the top-grossing video game movie of all time domestically ($148 million).
Overseas — where it opened in select markets ahead of its domestic launch — Sonic 2 grossed another $37 million from 53 markets for a foreign total of $70 million and $141 million globally.
James Marsden, Jim Carrey and Tika Sumpter return for this sequel about the otherworldly, bright blue hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz) based on Sega’s hugely successful video game and media franchise. The story continues Sonic’s adventures on Earth following his arrival from a distant planet and his fumbling attempts to befriend a couple living in Montana.
The Universal action pic opened to $8.7 million from 3,412 theaters to place fourth despite a big push in Imax and premium large-format screens. Ambulance, which opened early overseas, earned another $2.8 million from 68 markets this weekend for a global total of $31 million.
Eiza Gonzalez also stars in Ambulance, about the aftermath of a Los Angeles bank robbery gone wrong.
Audiences liked Sonic 2 and Ambulance better than critics, bestowing them with an A CinemaScore and A- CinemaScore, respectively. Critics slightly favored Bay’s movie, which presently sits at 69 percent on Rotten Tomatoes; Sonic 2 is at 68 percent.
Ambulance debuted in fourth place domestically behind Sonic 2, Sony’s Morbius and Paramount’s The Lost City.
Morbius, coming in No. 2, fell a steep 74 percent in its sophomore outing to $10.2 million for a domestic total of $57.1 million. It is also struggling overseas, where it has grossed $69.3 million for a worldwide total of $126.3 million.
Paramount’s The Lost City came in third domestically with $9.2 million for a domestic total of $68.9 million and $78.6 million overseas.
Warner Bros. and DC’s The Batman rounded out the top five with $6.2 million, pushing its domestic tally to $359 million and global cume to $735.1 million.
A24’s critically acclaimed specialty darling Everything Everywhere All at Once is expanding wide in its third weekend to stellar results. The film placed No. 6 with a projected $6 million from 1,250 theaters.
The biggest headline overseas was Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beast: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which launched to $58 million from its first 22 markets, including China ($10 million), Germany ($9.4 million) and the U.K. ($8 million). The movie opens next weekend in North America. Imax turned in a hefty $4.3 million.
April 10, 8:15 a.m.: Updated with revised weekend estimates.
April 11, 8:50 a.m.: Updated with revised weekend estimates.
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