A new record as a video game transfer races to the top.
Coming off of a soft Oscars weekend the combined Valentines/President’s Day weekend was far busier with four new titles debuting. While a number of the films were playing off the love theme the winner was a long-in-the-works adaptation that had fans divided a year ago.
The expectations were resting on Friday becoming a bit of a date night for ticket buyers with three selections aiming at different demographics. There was not a lot of affection to be found for these, however, and at least a couple of studios will not be in love with the bottom line they were delivered.
1. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG – $57.45 Million
Paramount ran into some potential trouble with this one last year when a teaser poster and an early trailer had fans of the iconic SEGA video game expressing loud objections to how the character was portrayed. Human-like legs and odd-looking teeth of the titular hedgehog brought out protests on social media. The studio decided to scrap the Thanksgiving release date so it could go back and retro-fit the character digitally. It has been rewarded with enthusiasm from fans. This total sets a new record opening for video game adaptations and lands in the top-5 of all-time President’s Weekend debuts. One curiosity is the fast-food tie-in with Jack IN The Box. How did they NOT do something with Sonic Drive-Ins??
2. HARLEY QUINN: BIRDS OF PREY – $17.28m
Note the change in the title. After it had a disappointing debut last week Warners realized they may have muddled things for fans and so after the opening they insisted on this new title with the character included. It is a sign of the studio recognizing it had a marketing misfire. While, as I noted, the accusations of sexism being at play as a reaction to this film are provably wrong. Warners has attempted to right the ship, and with a massive movie debuting (close to doubling the debut of BOP) to see a drop of only -47% is actually a decent sign.
3. FANTASY ISLAND – $12.35m
A translation of the hit TV series into a quasi horror film has been met with mostly broken-hearted viewers as mostly teens turned out for this and older fans of the show were not impressed. The projections were scaled down going into the weekend and for good reason. Audiences gave this a woeful CinemaScore of’’C-’’. That will not deliver a heart-strumming box office run, but being a Blumhouse production means that it will not need to do gangbusters to earn a profit.
4. THE PHOTOGRAPH – $12.18m
An African American-centered love story fared somewhat better here, as it nearly tied with ‘’Island’’ while showing on 260 fewer screens. Made for only $15 million and with less spent on marketing means it also has a better shot at profitability.
5. BAD BOYS FOR LIFE – $11.45m
The hit action piece with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence continues to be going strong, playing still on over 3,000 screens after five weeks in release. The next accomplishment will be to see if it achieves reaching the $200 million total take.
6. 1917 – $8.11m
This lauded war epic was upset at last weekend’s Oscars, losing out on Best Picture and Best Director. (Its major award went to cinematographer Roger Deakins.) There is still enough love for this one however, seeing a small slide of only -12%, and it is assured of reaching the $150 million plateau.
7. PARASITE – $5.68m
This was the upset Oscar Winner, shocking some as it was the first foreign-language title to win for Best Picture. Distributer Neon rolled the film back out into theaters after the win, putting it out on over 900 screens, and this total is even more impressive as the film is already showing on home streaming services. It is ready to reach the $50 million mark soon as a result.
8. JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL – $5.51m
Making practically the same amount as last weekend this Christmastime release is still playing on 2,700 screens, reaching the $300 million total domestically.
9. DOOLITTLE – $4.85m
Now starting to really lag, the worldwide total here has barely achieved that of its budget, so the losses for Universal on this one can be steep.
10. DOWNHILL – $4.61m
An attempt at adult comedy, starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, this was met with a drink in the face from audiences. The CinemaScore is an embarrassing ‘’D’’, the Post-Track ratings by viewers were 1-star, and only 26% would recommend it. Just dismal.