According to studio estimates on Sunday, Sonic the Hedgehog won the weekend box office – albeit just barely, thanks to a better-than-anticipated performance from Disney/20th Century’s The Call of the Wild, which blasted past all expectations in its opening frame.
Narrowly hanging on to the No. 1 spot, Sonic dropped 55% from its powerhouse $58 million three-day debut to an estimated $26.3 million in its second weekend, bringing the domestic tally for the family adventure to $106.6 million. After ten days of release, the Paramount title is already the fourth highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time and will soon become the third, with just over $1 million to go to surpass 2016’s The Angry Birds Movie ($107.5 million final). By the end of its run, it should easily top last year’s Pokemon Detective Pikachu ($144.1 million) to rise to No. 1 on that list.
Nipping hot on Sonic’s heels was Call of the Wild, a big-budget adaptation of the classic Jack London novel about the relationship that forms between a man (here played by Harrison Ford) and a kidnapped dog. Though it had been pegged for a debut in the mid-to-high teen millions heading into the weekend, the film brought in an estimated $24.8 million from 3,752 locations, mounting a healthy challenge to Sonic the Hedgehog for first place.
There are a number of factors that likely played into the Disney/20th Century title’s overperformance this weekend. For starters, the presence of Ford in the lead role seems to have held strong appeal with older moviegoers, an often-underestimated segment of the moviegoing audience; according to exit polling, 32% of the opening weekend crowd was 45 or older. Combined with the expected family crowds, that turnout likely helped push the film into more competitive territory and cut into Sonic‘s lead. Indeed, its appeal to families with younger children looks to have made a slightly larger-than-expected dent in the video game adaptation’s performance this weekend.
Though reviews for The Call of the Wild were decidedly mixed (its Rotten Tomatoes average is barely “Fresh” at 63%), audiences seem to be enjoying it well enough, at least judging by its “A-“ Cinemascore and 90% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes (based on just over 600 ratings to date). Word of mouth will certainly need to be strong for the film to enter profitable territory, however – according to reports, the CGI-heavy release cost between $120-$150 million before marketing expenses are taken into account. Though it’s tempting to compare the film to other recent “dog” movies such as A Dog’s Purpose ($18.22 million opening), A Dog’s Way Home ($11.25 million) and A Dog’s Journey ($8.03 million), The Call of the Wild is much more of a special effects spectacle than those films were, and it needed to outperform them to help justify its exorbitant price tag.
In its third weekend, Birds of Prey fell a rather sharp 59% to an estimated $7 million in third place, bringing the total for the Warner Bros. release to a disappointing $72.5 million so far. Depending on how it holds up in subsequent weekends, the Harley Quinn spinoff could become the first DCEU film to finish its run with under $100 million domestically.
Bad Boys for Life finished in fourth with an estimated $5.86 million in its sixth weekend, bringing the total for the Sony/Columbia title to a fantastic $191.17 million. The franchise reboot will soon become the first film of 2020 to top the $200 million mark.
STX’s Brahms: The Boy II debuted in fifth place with an estimated $5.9 million from 2,151 locations, a so-so result that was more or less what was predicted heading into the weekend. The horror sequel is just the latest entry in what has been a very crowded and underwhelming horror market so far this year, without a single breakout title in the pack. Unfortunately, it looked too similar to other recent genre releases like The Turning and Gretel & Hansel to truly distinguish itself. While the first film became a minor sleeper hit ($10.77 million opening, $35.81 million final) back in 2016, moviegoers weren’t exactly clamoring for a follow-up, particularly four years after the fact.
According to STX, the studio’s exposure on the $10 million-budgeted film is just $2.5 million after taking foreign pre-sales into account, so this certainly isn’t a disastrous performance. Nonetheless, audience interest appears to have been lukewarm from the start, and with dismal reviews (its Rotten Tomatoes score is just 11%) and a “C-“ Cinemascore, it seems primed to fade quickly, particularly with the release of Universal’s The Invisible Man next weekend. Notably, The Boy II was not made available for review prior to opening, which served as another red flag for audiences.
Coming in sixth was Universal’s 1917, which brought in an estimated $4.4 million in its ninth weekend of release. The total for the WWI drama now stands at an impressive $151.9 million.
With new competition from The Boy II, Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island crumbled 66% to an estimated $4.18 million in seventh place in its sophomore frame, giving the Sony horror adaptation $20.17 million after ten days of release.
Finishing in eighth was Parasite, which continues to bask in the warm afterglow of its Best Picture win. In its 20th weekend of release, the Bong Joon-ho thriller brought in an estimated $3.12 million for a total of $48.9 million to date.
At No. 9, Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level continued its sturdy run with an estimated $3 million in its eleventh weekend, giving the family adventure threequel a powerhouse $310.96 million so far.
Finally in tenth place, Universal’s romantic drama The Photograph fell sharply in its sophomore frame, plummeting 77% to an estimated $2.8 million. That gives the Issa Rae-Lakeith Stanfield vehicle $17.64 million after ten days.
Debuting just outside the Top 10, truTV’s Impractical Jokers: The Movie – an adaptation of the network’s popular hidden camera series – opened with an estimated $2.5 million from just 357 screens, good for a healthy $5,493 per-screen average. The marketing campaign for the film was heavily targeted at preexisting fans of the show, resulting in a strong performance from diehard devotees of the series. The film will expand to more locations next weekend.
Also opening outside the Top 10 was the Lionsgate/Pantelion comedy Las Pildoras De Mi Novio (My Boyfriend’s Meds), which grossed an estimated $1.42 million from 350 locations.
Focus Features’ Emma debuted with an estimated $230K from just five screens, good for a per-screen average of $46K — the highest of any specialty release so far this year. The Jane Austen adaptation starring Anya Taylor-Joy will expand to around 100 screens next weekend.
Sonic the Hedgehog continued to top all other films at the international box office this weekend, grossing an estimated $38.6 million from 56 markets including 16 new territories. That brings the international tally to $96.5 million and the worldwide sum to $203.1 million. Top markets to date include the U.K. ($19.1 million), Mexico ($12.3 million) and France ($9.1 million). The Paramount title opens in Japan on March 27 and is slated for a Chinese release later this year.
The Call of the Wild opened with $15.4 million internationally from 40 territories, lifting its global debut to $40.2 million.
Dolittle grossed $11 million from 66 territories, giving the Universal release $129.7 million internationally and $204.1 million globally.
Birds of Prey took in an estimated $10 million from 78 overseas markets, lifting its international cume to $101.2 million and its global total to $173.7 million.
With an estimated $8.1 million overseas this weekend, Bad Boys for Life hit the $200 million mark internationally and rose to over $390 million worldwide. Top-grossing markets to date include the U.K. ($20 million), Germany ($16.8 million), France ($12.7 million), Mexico ($12.5 million), Australia ($12.5 million) and Russia ($11.9 million).
Also of note was Sony’s Little Women, which crossed $200 million globally ($92.1 million from international markets) after bringing in an estimated $3.4 million overseas this weekend.
Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, FEB. 21 – SUN, FEB. 23
|1||Sonic The Hedgehog||$26,300,000||-55%||4,198||31||$6,265||$106,601,671||2||Paramount|
|2||The Call Of The Wild||$24,820,000||—||3,752||—||$6,615||$24,820,000||1||20th Century Studios|
|3||Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)||$7,005,000||-59%||3,565||-671||$1,965||$72,529,015||3||Warner Bros.|
|4||Brahms: The Boy II||$5,900,000||—||2,151||—||$2,743||$5,900,000||1||STX Entertainment|
|5||Bad Boys For Life||$5,860,000||-49%||2,972||-213||$1,972||$191,175,645||6||Sony / Columbia|
|7||Fantasy Island||$4,185,000||-66%||2,784||0||$1,503||$20,172,070||2||Sony Pictures|
|9||Jumanji: The Next Level||$3,000,000||-46%||2,126||-284||$1,411||$310,964,423||11||Sony Pictures|
|10||The Photograph||$2,800,000||-77%||2,516||0||$1,113||$17,644,640||2||Universal Pictures|
|13||The Gentlemen||$1,240,000||-55%||1,133||-669||$1,094||$33,637,342||5||STX Entertainment|
|1||Impractical Jokers: The Movie||$2,500,000||—||357||—||$7,003||$2,500,000||1||truTV|
|2||Las Píldoras De Mi Novio||$1,425,000||—||350||—||$4,071||$1,425,000||1||Lionsgate / Pantelion Films|
|4||Portrait of a Lady on Fire||$715,000||67%||130||108||$5,500||$1,450,114||12||NEON|
|5||Little Women||$705,000||-55%||633||-402||$1,114||$106,947,271||9||Sony Pictures|
|7||Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker||$531,000||-62%||558||-434||$952||$514,094,372||10||Disney|
|9||Jojo Rabbit||$506,000||-49%||385||-99||$1,314||$32,768,604||19||Fox Searchlight|
|10||Just Mercy||$270,000||-65%||423||-423||$638||$35,411,640||9||Warner Bros.|
|11||Spies in Disguise||$222,000||-54%||263||-256||$844||$66,191,659||9||20th Century Fox|
|12||The Assistant||$221,515||6%||167||85||$1,326||$795,302||4||Bleecker Street|
|13||Ford v. Ferrari||$180,000||-51%||214||-79||$841||$117,345,555||15||20th Century Fox|
|14||The Turning||$136,000||-75%||315||-295||$432||$15,354,235||5||Universal Pictures|
|5||The Traitor||$52,875||5%||45||16||$1,175||$224,099||4||Sony Pictures Classics|
|6||Underwater||$51,000||11%||85||8||$600||$17,181,207||7||20th Century Fox|
|8||Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band||$41,500||—||4||—||$10,375||$41,500||1||Magnolia Pictures|
|9||The Times of Bill Cunningham||$29,178||-30%||8||6||$3,647||$81,673||2||Greenwich Entertainment|
|10||Beanpole||$28,985||79%||27||20||$1,074||$107,789||4||Kino Lorber Films|
|11||Weathering With You||$22,607||-66%||15||-17||$1,507||$7,759,696||6||GKIDS|
|12||Come and See||$16,217||—||1||—||$16,217||$16,217||1||Janus Films|
|13||Ride Your Wave||$15,340||—||12||—||$1,278||$316,129||1||GKIDS|
|15||First Lady||$4,556||-92%||15||-53||$304||$85,207||2||ArtAffects Entertainment|