Sonic Makeover Is Off to the Races

Major Oscar bump benefits 'Parasite'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 16, 2020 1:00 PM CST
Sonic Makeover Is Off to the Races
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, in a scene from "Sonic the Hedgehog ."   (Paramount Pictures/Sega of America via AP)

The redesigned Sonic the Hedgehog showed plenty of teeth at the box office, speeding to a $57 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday, while Parasite saw one of the largest post-Oscars bumps in years. Paramount Pictures' Sonic came in well above expectations, the AP reports, especially for a movie that just months ago was a laughingstock. After its first trailer was greeted with ridicule on social media last year, Sonic was postponed three months to give its title character a design overhaul—including fixing Sonic's eerily human teeth. The makeover worked and audiences responded by making Sonic the Hedgehog the weekend's top film and the highest-grossing opening for a video game adaptation, not accounting for inflation. The studio estimates Sonic will gross $68 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend. The Sega video game adaptation drew decent reviews (63% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and an A CinemaScore from moviegoers. The film stars Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik with Ben Schwartz supplying Sonic's voice.

Bong Joon Ho's Parasite had its biggest weekend in its 19th week of release. Neon put the film into its widest release yet—2,001 theaters—following its historic win at the Oscars as the first non-English-language film to win best picture. Despite the film already being available for weeks on digital platforms and on DVD, its $5.5 million weekend is the largest Oscars bump for a best-picture winner since Gladiator in 2001. Last week's opening of Birds of Prey followed up its weak debut by sliding to second with $17.1 million. Following its disappointing opening, some theaters retitled the movie Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, instead of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).

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