They say that capturing lightning inside a bottle is akin to making lightning strike the same spot twice - it's impossible.
Apparently, Paramount Pictures did not get that memo.
Two years after releasing Sonic the Hedgehog in 2020, which made nearly $320 million at the global box office, Paramount dropped a sequel that was expected to do well but not better than the first outing. However, after the first weekend of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in theaters, the family-friendly film is on the fast track to enjoying the highest numbers ever grossed by a video game movie.
According to Box Office Mojo, the Sonic sequel ran circles around its competition en route to historic numbers - $141 million at the global box office.
As of the time of writing, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sits at #20 all-time for movies based on video games, nestled in between 2004's Resident Evil: Apocalypse and 2007's Resident Evil: Extinction. Given the film's 67% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes and 97% audience rating, we can expect families to come flocking to theaters to watch Sonic's second feature film over the next few weeks as word of mouth spreads.
When you take into account the natural dip in numbers following a film's first weekend in theaters, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has a fair shot at beating 2016's Warcraft film's record of nearly $440 million at the worldwide box office.
It's amazing how the legendary speedster's movies are doing so well these days. There was a time when the first Sonic the Hedgehog film was in danger of not releasing due to the fan backlash. In particular, fans weren't huge fans of Sonic's initial live-action design, forcing Paramount to go back to the drawing boards to redesign Sonic. This process pushed the film's release from November 8, 2019, to February 14, 2020.
Unfortunately, Sonic the Hedgehog 2's debut came at the expense of Morbius. After the Jared Leto-led film topped box office charts during its opening weekend, the SSU's first non-Venom movie pulled in more than 70% less the next weekend. Morbius is now the owner of the dubious distinction of the worst second-weekend drop for a Marvel movie and the second-worst fall in history for a superhero movie.
Ultimately, Sonic the Hedgehog 2's numbers are good news for the future of SEGA and Paramount Pictures' partnership.