The video game adaptation (based on the iconic Sega franchise) is expected to speedily collect $65 million from 4,130 domestic theaters by the end of the extended Presidents Day holiday weekend. That's $20 million more than early estimates, which expected the family-friendly film to make between $40 - $45 million.
In terms of the best opening for a video game movie over the traditional three-day weekend frame, Sonic could break the $54 million record currently held by last year's Detective Pikachu.
Directed by animation/VFX vet Jeff Fowler, the film finds the titular blue hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz) teaming up with small-town sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) to take down the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey). Indeed, fans are going nuts for Carrey, who delivers a madcap performance we haven't really seen from him since the '90s.
"He was born out of an absolute sense of worthlessness coupled with genius," the actor told SYFY WIRE of Robotnik's origins. "That combination is ripe for comedy. Peter Sellers used to do this like nobody [else], and that is to play confidence with being an absolute fop doodle."
After an underwhelming debut last weekend, Warner Bros.' Birds of Prey dropped down to second place with an extra $20 million in domestic ticket sales. By the end of tomorrow, the latest DCEU release should have $63 million to its North American name after the first 11 days.
Director Cathy Yan's Suicide Squad spinoff is still struggling to break even on its $82 - $100 million budget, and theaters actually changed the title of the comic book flick in a reported effort to draw in more viewers. Margot Robbie returns to the role of Harley Quinn as the Joker's ex-girlfriend and partner in crime decides to get even with Gotham City's most powerful gangster, Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor). To do that, she teams up with Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez).
Overseas, the film has collected a little over $55 million, bringing Birds of Prey's global total to $103.8 million.
Like Sonic, Sony's horror spin on Fantasy Island also hit theaters this weekend and is expected to round out the holiday with $13 - $15 million in North America. Reviews haven't been very kind to the Blumhouse-produced film, which holds an abysmal 9 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Nevertheless, the project (directed and co-written by Truth or Dare's Jeff Wadlow) only cost around $7 million to make, so it'll still leave the accursed island with some money in its pocket.
Based on the long-running '70s-era TV series of the same name, Fantasy Island centers on a tropical getaway that allows guests to live out their dearest ambitions. Things take a dark turn when those wishes are fulfilled with a deadly and ironic twist.
Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Portia Doubleday, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen, and Michael Rooker co-star. In particular, Peña plays the island's enigmatic caretaker, Mr. Roarke, a role originated by the late Ricardo Montalbán on the TV show.
After more than two months in theaters, Sony's Jumanji: The Next Level is still going strong and will go head to head with Universal's 1917 for sixth place (a slot that contains an extra life of $9 million). In any case, the second entry in the rebooted Jumanji series already has over $300 million in domestic sales and nearly $800 million in worldwide sales.
Now in its fifth weekend, Universal's Dolittle should complete the holiday weekend with an additional $7 - 8 million domestically. The latest adaptation of Hugh Lofting's stories about a man who can talk to animals (played by Robert Downey Jr. this time around) has $67 million in North America and $163 million globally.
(SYFY and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal, which released Dolittle and 1917.)