New York (CNN Business)Nothing can slow down Sonic The Hedgehog.
“Sonic The Hedgehog 2,” the Paramount sequel about the iconic Sega video game character, notched an estimated $71 million domestically for its opening this weekend, according to the studio. That number not only exceeded expectations that had the film making closer to $50 million, but also marks the biggest opening ever for a video game based film.
The sequel, which stars Jim Carrey as Doctor Robotnik, also outperformed the original, which opened in February 2020 to $58 million.
The big weekend is a victory for Paramount and theater operators.
The studio has had a solid start to 2022 thanks to two sequels that beat expectations at the box office. “Scream,” the fifth installment in the horror franchise, opened to $30 million in January before going on to make $140 million worldwide. Now, “Sonic The Hedgehog 2” looks poised to be one of the bigger hits of the year.
As for theaters, that is great news at a crucial time.
There hasn’t been a big hit at the box office since last month’s “The Batman” and “Sonic The Hedgehog 2” can act as a bridge to the lucrative summer movie season, which kicks off early next month with Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
The record opening for “Sonic The Hedgehog 2” is also a good sign that consumers are willing to buy tickets to family films — an important genre that’s been somewhat missing from theaters since the start of the pandemic.
“I think there was this idea that families were not ready to go back to the movie theater, but the performance of ‘Sonic 2’ this weekend proves that family audiences are back,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore (SCOR), told CNN Business. “Family audiences are one of the most important segments of the box office, so this is good news for other family films and the industry at large as we head towards the summer.”
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