Refresh for latest…: Paramount’s Sonic The Hedgehog raced to a $100M worldwide opening this weekend, including $43M from the international box office, and a domestic record for a videogame pic. The adaptation of Sega’s globally popular property is playing in 40 offshore markets, repping 60% of the overseas footprint. Directed by Jeff Fowler, Sonic had his best restults in Latin America and Europe with No. 1s in most cases and setting up nicely for hubs that have school holidays afoot.
In like-for-like markets and excluding previews, the little blue speedster came in 95% above Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, 61% over Peter Rabbit, 20% above Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and 6% higher than Pokemon Detective Pikachu.
Leading the charge on the Hedgehog was Mexico with $6.7M from 895 locations, followed by the UK with $6.2M from 616, France’s $4.3M at 622, Germany’s $3.3M from 475 and Brazil’s $3M from 629. Sonic still has Russia and Japan to come while the China release has been shelved for the moment owing to the coronavirus epidemic.
Last week’s disappointment, Birds Of Prey, had a decent drop of 46% to add $23M from 78 markets. The overseas cume is now $83.6M for $142.9M worldwide. Overall numbers are still low on Warner Bros’ DC spinoff, with Mexico leading at $7.9M to date.
In other overseas play, Universal’s Dolittle crossed the $100M international mark as did Disney/Fox’s Spies In Disguise. Sam Mendes’ award winning war drama 1917, from Universal and Amblin, has blasted to $322.5M global. Sony’s Bad Boys For Life is closing in on $200M overseas, now with $187M, and $368M worldwide. The studio’s Little Women, meanwhile, is nearing $200M global.
China remains closed for business amid the coronavirus epidemic, and Asia also continues to be affected with cinemagoing down. All theatrical releases through February have been cancelled in the Middle Kingdom and there is currently no clear picture of when screens may come back online.
Breakdowns on this week’s films above and more are being updated below.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
With a $43M international opening, Paramount’s Sega videogame adaptation captured the global No. 1 spot this weekend at $100M. That includes a terrific domestic bow that bested expectations. Overseas, the start is above such comps as Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Pixels, Peter Rabbit, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Pokemon Detective Pikachu. There are school holidays ahead and not much in the way of family fare save some rollout on Disney/Fox’s The Call Of The Wild this month and then Disney/Pixar’s Onward in March.
Latin America and Europe leaned into the little blue fellow while overall moviegoing is down in Asia owing to the coronavirus. An initial February date on Sonic in China has been shelved given all cinemas are closed there for the foreseeable future. Videogame movies typically work well in the market, so hopefully it finally gets a release once the tragic epidemic is contained. Russia opens next weekend, and Japan goes March 20.
The Top 10 markets on Sonic, which stars Jim Carrey, James Masden and Ben Schwartz, are Mexico ($6.7M), the UK ($6.2M), France ($4.3M), Germany ($3.3M), Brazil ($3M), Australia ($2.8M), Spain ($2M), Italy ($1.9M), Ukraine ($1M) and Colombia ($1M).
Sonic was presented as an action packed, fun-fueled movie experience for kids, families and fans with a large presence at Brazil CCXP in December and the unveiling of Baby Sonic out of Japan. The campaign leaned into key international holiday moments including Christmas, New Year’s, the Three Kings and the Chinese Lunar New Year with custom integrations and highly localized media campaigns across TV and outdoor. That included Super Sonic Saturday in the UK which culminated in a two-minute Masked Singer stunt with Sonic speeding through ITV’s ad break; the “World’s Fastest Ad Break” on Nine Network’s afterschool programming in Australia; ski resort takeovers in France; wrapped subway cars in Seoul; and subway and virtual TV ads during the Super Bowl in Mexico.
Talent was out from January, with an international junket in LA and a European junket held in London. Carrey attended fan screenings in Berlin and London. He also appeared on The Chris Tall Show in Germany, and Lorraine and The Graham Norton Show in the UK.
Local voice talent was maximized for eventized fan screenings in such hubs as France, Korea, Brazil, Russia, Netherlands and Mexico. Hedgehog influencers also came out in force to celebrate International Hedgehog Day on February 2.
In total, there were over 80 international brand partners, supporting with over $30M delivering close 1B impressions. Partners include Puma, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Speed Rabbit Pizza, Ace and Point S along with major retail tie-ins around the world.
BLUMHOUSE’S FANTASY ISLAND
Sony’s release of Blumhouse’s feature take on the hit 1980s ABC TV show launched internationally with $7.6M from 3,500+ screens in 35 markets. The series is well known overseas, like in France which led all play this session at $1.3M. Indonesia ($950K) and Australia ($700K) were among the other best openers.
There is still a fair bit of rollout to come on the Jeff Wadlow-directed horror adaptation that stars Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Michael Pena and Michael Rooker. Upcoming are Germany, Russia, the UK, Mexico, Brazil and Korea through May.