SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 boomed to the top of the weekend box office by grossing $71M, easily surpassing all industry projections. In fact, this year’s SONIC sequel generated a higher opening box office than the pre-pandemic original in 2020 which grossed $58M on its opening weekend. Only five weeks later, the movie business was shut down by the onslaught of COVID-19.
While more than 30 movie sequels have been released since the pandemic began, only two have bested the results from their pre-COVID counterparts – SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME and VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE. Boasting a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 98%, it is highly likely that SONIC 2 will be flying high for weeks to come and beat out the original SONIC’s total $149M.
Other new titles did not fare so well this weekend. The other wide opener was Michael Bay’s AMBULANCE, starring Jake Gyllenhall, which limped in with a gross of $8.7M, which was good enough for fourth place. AMBULANCE cost only $40M to produce, which was significantly lower than the reported $217M budget for Bay’s 2017 blockbuster TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT. The poor showing for AMBULANCE makes one wonder what success any mid-budget action film can achieve.
As predicted, last week’s #1 movie MORBIUS dropped by a dizzying 74% from its debut, landing at $10.2M and second place. EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE has been a title to watch. A24 has handled its release skillfully, expanding each week for the last three weeks since it first opened in NY and LA.
Now playing at 1,250 theatres, it generated $6.1M this weekend, producing the second-highest per theatre average for the weekend at $4,847. EVERYTHING finished either #1 or #2 at most of its locations, an important contribution to the theatre’s lucky where it is playing. A24 plans to continue its expansion next week, with many new theatres eager to participate. After tallying up all the “votes” for the weekend, we estimate that the total gross will be $120M, which is $82% of the result produced by the same weekend in 2019.