Sonic the Hedgehog this weekend sped past the record set by Pikachu and pals to become the highest-opening video game movie at the US box office.
SEGA and Paramount’s Blue Blur blockbuster made $57m domestically on its opening weekend, beating out Pokémon Detective Pikachu’s previous $54m record haul from last year.
Buoyed by Valentine’s Day and a long weekend due to President’s Day, the movie is estimated to have reached $70m in its first four days.
The movie also topped the UK box office with a ticket stubs totalling £4.7m, bringing its global debut to around $100m.
The success follows controversies over the visual appearance of Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, in the movie’s early stages. Paramount went back to the drawing board after an initial trailer drew widespread criticism and mockery online. Fans branded the CGI Sonic 'hideous' and 'cursed', drawing particular attention to the anthropomorphic hedgehog’s 'bizarrely human' teeth and feet.
The backlash led to a complete re-work of the character, a move Paramount says was worth the money and effort.
Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president of Domestic Distribution, told Variety the movie has “exceeded” expectations, adding: “That’s a testament to that reset and terrific performances by Jim Carrey and the entire cast."
Sonic the Hedgehog forced DC’s Harley Quinn spin-off Birds of Prey into second place, which brought in $17m over the weekend’s three days. The Margot Robbie-fronted superhero flick has cumed $83m globally to date.