SUNDAY AM WRITETHRU after late-Saturday PM post: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is outstripping the three-day opening results of its 2020 original movie — which, keep in mind, was over a holiday weekend — with $71M. For Jim Carrey, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is his biggest domestic opener on a three-day basis, beating the $68M start of Bruce Almighty in 2003.
Sonic 2‘s updated gross is after an estimated $26M Saturday, which was up 1% against Friday plus previews of $26.8M. Technically speaking, the Jeff Fowler-directed sequel was up 30% on Saturday over Friday if you back out previews.
Paramount Theatrical Distribution Boss Chris Aronson beamed, “Sonic 2‘s record opening is a victory for Paramount and for the industry at large. The filmmakers did an amazing job of crafting a film that is both in service of Sonic’s legions of fans as well as the general and family audience. Growing a franchise is no small feat and having an opening +22% over the first film is a remarkable achievement. Kudos to the filmmakers and to the marketing and distributions teams at Paramount for doing a fantastic job in bringing the film into the global marketplace!”
‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ Review: Overlong Insta-Sequel Provides Plenty Of Frenetic Action For Franchise Fans
Knock on wood, it’s going to be fun to see the legs on this one and how vibrant a Sonic movie can truly be in the market, especially for a sector that has been starving for movies. The first movie’s momentum was stalled by Covid and the closing of movie theaters, the pic making close to 50% of its $148.9M final domestic in its first four days.
Critics at 68% Rotten didn’t curtail business for the Hedgehog as he received an A CinemaScore, the same grade as the first film, with an 87% positive and 74% recommend on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak with kids under 12 jumping up and down at 95% positive and a 79% definite recommend.
Demos were 61% guys, 39% women with 32% under 17, and 46% between 18-34 years old. Diversity demos showed a strong turnout among Latino and Hispanic audiences of 38%, Caucasian at 29%, 20% Black and 13% Asian/other. Sonic was great everywhere, but showed power on the coasts and in the South. PLFs by Saturday AM drove 22% of ticket sales.
The audience was made up of 27% parents, 31% kids and 42% general.
EntTelligence says 6M admissions were closed for Sonic 2. Matinee attendance was strong on Saturday with almost 56% of the audience attending before 5PM. Thirty-one percent came between 5PM to 8PM, and 13% after 8PM. On Friday, approximately 31% of the audience came before 5PM, 46% came during the 5PM to 8PM dayparts, and 23% of patrons showed up after 8PM. By comparison, Encanto had over 83% of their audience see the film before 8PM on opening day. Average ticket price for Sonic 2 was $11.69.
iSpot monitored that Paramount spent just under $18M on U.S. TV spots that yielded 717M impressions with the campaign running on NBC, Nick, CBS, USA and Univision on such shows as the Winter Olympics, SpongeBob, men’s college basketball, and of course the Super Bowl LVI pregame and NBA games.
Social awareness for Sonic 2 per RelishMix before the weekend stood at 468.6M and 29% above the social media universe of family-live-action movies across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Instagram and TikTok. And, it also runs in-line with the first installment of Sonic which opened two years ago, just before the pandemic, and exceeded predictions for that opening weekend at $58M. Included, is the 11.7M social/digital kick from the Super Bowl pre-game spot and social pages for the movie at 568K which is strong. The franchise based on the 31 year old video game, has social cross-promotional integration from the Sega game platform (4.3M) and the Sonic The Hedgehog social media (13.1M). RelishMix noticed that the word of mouth was positive for Sonic 2 and that “expectations and love for Jim Carrey as Dr. Eggman, and concerns as to whether this this will be his ‘last film’ are building interest even more.”
The weekend’s other wide opener, Michael Bay’s Ambulance from Universal, saw $3.3M on Saturday, the same as yesterday for $8.7M in 4th place (this is as of Saturday night). Those who bought tickets love the movie with an A- CinemaScore. However, there was a disparity with PostTrak exits which were much lower at 77% positive, and 61% recommend. Older guy heavy as expected at 62%, 77% over 25 with 49% over 35 years old. Diversity demos were 38% Caucasian, 29% Latino and Hispanic, 22% Black and 11% Asian/other. West and Southwest were the best areas of play for the action pic with Imax accounting for 14% of ticket sales, and nine of the top ten runs coming from the large format exhibitor and another 7% from PLFs. According to EntTelligence, Ambulance pulled in 675K admissions this weekend, with over 35% of the audience coming after 8PM on Friday and 27% attending after 8PM on Saturday.
iSpot shows that Uni spent an enormous amount of cash on TV spots at $33M. This includes NBCUniversal owned networks, which generated 819M impressions. Spots aired across NFL games, men’s college basketball, the Winter Olympics, NBA games and The Big Bang Theory re-runs.
A24 this AM reported that their wide expansion of Everything Everywhere All at Once is in 6th place with $6M, the best weekend of the year for a platform release (Yes, they still work; not all indie movies are 17 days). A24 will continue to expand the movie in the next few weeks. The Daniels directed movie wasn’t just beloved by critics at 97% Certified Fresh after two weekends of limited play, however, PostTrak measured 89% positive, and a great 77% recommend. Guys bought tickets at 64%, with 61% over 25, and 69% between 18-34. Diversity demos were 45% Caucasian, 19% Asian, 19% Latino and Hispanic, 13% Black and 4% other. Coasts saw the best business with nine of the top ten runs; which isn’t unusual for an A24 release. Best markets were LA, NY, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington DC, Seattle, Denver, Toronto, San Diego, and Austin. Data from Tubular Labs showed trailers from A24 garnered 29.1 million views across Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
Comscore reports that all movies this weekend grossed $118.6M, +7% when compared to the 2nd weekend of April 2019, which grossed $111.1M.
Top 6 Movies; we’ll have more updates for you later this morning:
1.) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Par) 4,234 theaters, Fri $26.5M, Sat $26.8M, Sun $17.7M, 3-day $71M/Wk 1
2.) Morbius (Sony) 4,268 theaters, Fri $2.9M, Sat $4.4M, Sun $2.8M, 3-day $10.2M (-74%)/Total $57M/Wk 2
3.) The Lost City (Par) 3,797 (-486) theaters Fri. $2.56M, Sat $4M, Sun $2.55M,, 3-day $9.1M (-38%)/Total $68.8M/ Wk 3
4.) Ambulance (Uni) 3,412 theaters, Fri $3.2M, Sat, $3.3M, Sun $2.2M, 3-day $8.7M/Wk 1
5.) The Batman(WB) 3,254 (-478) theaters Fri $1.75M, Sat $2.9M, Sun $1.9M, 3-day: $6.5M (-41%) Total $358.8M/Wk 6
6.) Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) 1,250 (+1,212) theaters, Fri $2.1M, Sat $2.1M, Sun $1.7M, 3-day $6.05M (+505%)/Total $8.4M/Wk 3
7.) Uncharted (Sony) 2,318 (-746) theaters, Fri $735K Sat $1.2M Sun $710K, 3-day $2.65M (-28%), Total $142.9M/Wk 8
8.) Jujutsu Kaisen (Crunch) 850 (-1,220) theaters, Fri $230K, Sat $345K, Sun $250K, 3-day $825K (-58%), Total $33.1M/Wk 4
9.) Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) 1,009 (-696) theaters, Fri $170k, Sat $288K, Sun $167K, 3-day $625K, -57%, Total $803.8M/Wk 17
10.) RRR (Sarigama Cinemas) 350 (-515) theaters, Fri $151K, Sat $248K, Sun $171K, 3-day $570K (65%), Total $13.66M/Wk 3
SATURDAY AM WRITETHRU after Friday PM post: No, family moviegoers never were gone.
Do you hear that, Disney CEO Bob Chapek? (Admit it: It always was about the seasonal churn rate for Disney+; that’s why Turning Red skipped theaters).
Families turned Spider-Man: No Way Home into the third-highest-grossing movie of all-time with $803M, and they kept Sing 2 in the top 10 for 14 of the pic’s 15 weekends for a $162M stateside total. And further underscoring that family audiences haven’t lost their appetite for moviegoing during the pandemic is Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which clocked a $26.5M Friday (including $6.25M previews), for what looks to be at this moment as a $67M-$69M opening at 4,234 theaters. That’s higher than the $58M three-day of the first movie. That’s the fifth slam-dunk, No 1 opening by Paramount during the pandemic after A Quiet Place: Part II, Scream, Jackass Forever and The Lost City. There’s a great optimism out there among sources that Sonic 2 will go higher once matinees take effect.
What was destined to be broken, according to pre-weekend tracking, is Universal/Endeavor Content’s Michael Bay action film Ambulance, which is slightly higher than the $2.8M Friday we saw yesterday, now $3.2M, which means a $8.1M opening at 3,412 theaters in 4th place. And the movie has all the Imax screens.
Now, before we blame this person, that person and Bay, Ambulance serves as a reality check as moviegoing roars back. Essentially, moviegoers have become more discerning during the pandemic, and they’re particularly choosey about the types of movies they’ll see. A Marvel, DC or Sonic the Hedgehog pic is worth the price, especially if you’re going to the movies two to three times a year. But if it looks like an action film they’ve seen on a Netflix queue, they’re not going to go out of their way to see it. Ambulance obviously is on a 17-day window, and given that, well, older dudes will wait to see this at home.
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All of this despite the movie notching the best reviews of Bay’s career, Jake Gyllenhaal doing quite well in the role and Universal’s marketing materials testing well. Times have changed, and a brilliant movie such as 1994’s Speed would have a hard time in today’s moviegoing economy. Furthermore, when it comes to action films in today’s cinemas, it’s the superhero pics that have it all, everything else is B-rated. They’ve stolen the air away from something as standard as Ambulance, which came to together in November 2020.
‘The Lost City’ SXSW Review: Sandra Bullock And Channing Tatum Make Slapstick Comedy Look Good
Meanwhile, a movie like The Lost City, a combo of romantic comedy and adventure — that’s a different genre we don’t see all the time. It’s not overabundant and, because it had the right star package, opened to $30.4M. It appealed straight to women, and there haven’t been that many female-demo movies during the past two years. In Weekend 3 at 3,797 theaters, the Sandra Bullock-Channing Tatum movie is seeing $2.5M on Friday, -42% from a week ago for a three-day of $9.3M in third place, -37%, for a running total of $68.9M on the high end by Sunday.
Sony’s Morbius booked at 4,268 theaters is out of blood in Weekend 2 with $10M in 2nd, -74% on the high end, for a running total of $56.8M. The movie crossed $100M global on Thursday, and its current global cume is $102.7M before the weekend.
Warner Bros.’ The Batman in Weekend 6 is seeing $6M-$6.3M, -43%, for a running total of $358.8M in fifth at 3,254 locations.
Sixth place right now is going to A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once with a great $5.9M third weekend off 1,250 theaters (+1,212) and an expected running total by Sunday of $8.5M. The Daniels movie made $2.1M Friday.
We’ll have more updates for you later this morning.
FRIDAY AM: Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 grossed $6.25M in previews from Wednesday fan screenings and Thursday showtimes that started at 3 p.m. The film is expected to make north of $50M this weekend. Universal/Endeavor Content’s Ambulance is not looking great with $700K in previews at 2,800 theaters that started at 7 p.m.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s Thursday was $5M, or 66%, higher than the original 2020 movie’s $3M Thursday previews, which started at 5 p.m. That movie saw a $20.9M opening day, of which previews accounted for only 14%, and a $58M three-day and $70M four-day weekend before finaling at $148.9M. The movie’s legs were indeed impacted then by the onset of the pandemic and exhibition closing nationwide.
In regards to Ambulance, the good news is that it’s double the preview number of Universal’s previous action dud The 355, which did $350K at 2,300 theaters that began at 7 p.m. on its Thursday. The irony here with Ambulance is that it’s the best-reviewed movie of director Michael Bay’s career — tied with The Rock, which also was 68% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes — but the movie isn’t going to make it to double digits in its opening.
The logical question is why wasn’t this sent to Peacock, day-and-date. I understand that Universal wanted to be in the Bay business and made a negative pickup here from Endeavor Content, which financed the pic starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Eiza González for an estimated $40M. The only bragging rights for Universal is that Ambulance was cheap. After the pic’s disastrous $20M foreign box office result in 59 territories, Uni already is dealing with the reality that this vehicle is broken.
Among regular movies in release, Sony’s Morbius did $1.3M on Thursday, ending its week with an estimated $46.9M. The Jared Leto Spider-Man spinoff is expected to decline 65% in Weekend 2 given its genre nature. Paramount’s The Lost City did $1.1M, -8% from Wednesday, for a second week estimated at $19.9M and two-week total of $59.7M. Warner Bros.’ The Batman did $745K, -7% from Wednesday ending its fifth week with $14.3M and a running total of $352.5M. Sony’s Uncharted did $303K in its seventh Thursday for a week ending of $5M and a running total of $140.3M.
‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ Trailer: Ben Schwartz Returns As Beloved Blue Blur Along With Tails & Knuckles
Meanwhile, A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once is the little engine that could. The Michelle Yeoh movie did $113K at its current 38 Week 2 locations and another $530K in previews (all in Thursday $643K) heading into its 1,200-theater expansion, bringing the movie’s running total to $2.8M. This is a very promising result for specialty cinemas.
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The 25th anniversary of Jennifer Lopez movie Selena from Iconic ranked fifth Thursday with an estimated $216K at 308 locations, we hear. This is not a one-night-only event but will continue in upcoming weeks.
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