Sonic the Hedgehog Tops Detective Pikachu as #1 Game-Based Film in U.S.

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Sonic earns US$145 million despite lowest weekend box office in 2 decades

Movie theater attendance dropped off about 45% in the United States this past weekend, as theater chains cut theater capacity by 50% to comply with "social distancing" recommendations that the Center for Disease Control made in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Because of this, ticket sales in North American theaters hit their lowest since the September 15-17, 2000 weekend, with only US$55.3 million in ticket sales over the weekend.

Many theater chains have indefinitely closed all locations throughout the United States as of Tuesday. Theater chains that have closed so far include Regal Cinemas, AMC, Showcase Cinemas, Landmark Theatres, Cineplex Odeon, and Alamo Drafthouse. AMC stated that its locations will remain closed for at least six to 12 weeks.

The Box Office Mojo website reported on Monday that Paramount Pictures' Sonic the Hedgehog film has earned a cumulative total of US$145,753,912 in the United States, overtaking Pokémon Detective Pikachu as the #1 film in the United States based on a game (the latter film earned US$144,105,346 in the United States). Sonic the Hedgehog earned US$2,522,584 to rank #6 in its fifth weekend. The film has earned the equivalent of US$160,700,000 internationally, for a total worldwide gross of US$306,453,912.

The film earned US$70,002,074 to rank #1 over its Presidents' Day holiday opening weekend from February 14 to 17.

The film was slated to open in Japan on March 27, but Japanese film distributor Towa Pictures delayed the opening of the film in order to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease. It will open in Japan with the title Sonic The Movie.

Ben Schwartz (DuckTales, Parks and Recreation) voices the title character Sonic in the film. James Marsden (Westworld, X-Men) and Tika Sumpter star in the film, and Jim Carrey (The Truman Show, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) plays the villain Robotnik.

Jeff Fowler made his directorial debut with the film. Tim Miller (Deadpool) and Toby Ascher are executive producing with producer Neal Moritz (Fast & Furious franchise) and co-producers Dmitri Johnson and Dan Jevons.

Funimation's screening of the My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Boku no Hero Academia the Movie -Heroes: Rising-) film earned US$98,000 to rank #20 in the United States box office in its third weekend. The screenings have earned a cumulative total of US$13,304,000.

Funimation announced on March 4 that the film had earned a cumulative total of US$10 million in the United States to become the eighth all-time highest-grossing anime film in the United States.

The film ranked at #1 in the United States box office when it opened on February 26, earning US$2,526,900 on that day alone, and US$806,655 the following day. The film eventually earned US$5,888,330 to rank #4 in its opening weekend, exceeding Box Office Mojo's US$5.1 million estimate. It then earned an additional US$385,488 on Monday, and US$681,788 on Tuesday for a new total of US$10,361,847.

Funimation began screening the film in the United States and Canada in more than 1,000 total theaters starting on February 26. The film has both subtitled and dubbed screenings.

Funimation describes the film:

Class 1-A visits Nabu Island where they finally get to do some real hero work. The place is so peaceful that it's more like a vacation … until they're attacked by a villain with an unfathomable Quirk! His power is eerily familiar, and it looks like Shigaraki had a hand in the plan. But with All Might retired and citizens' lives on the line, there's no time for questions. Deku and his friends are the next generation of heroes, and they're the island's only hope.

The film opened in Japan on December 20, and ranked at #3 in its opening weekend. The film has earned 1.5 billion yen (about US$14 million), and has sold more than 1.21 million tickets. The film's 4DX screenings began on January 24 in 81 theaters in Japan.

Sources: Box Office Mojo (link 2, link 3) via Hachima Kikō, Variety (Rebecca Rubin)

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