By George Bate
Video game movies have been with poor critical and financial reception over the years, but that trend seems to be changing with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and other recent films. The new Paramount film is set to break the opening weekend record for video game adaptations after earning $26.5 million on its opening day on its way to a $67 million opening weekend.
The first Sonic movie was one of the last major films to be released prior to the COVID-19 pandemic releasing in early 2020. Then, Sonic the Hedgehog broke the record for video game adaptations’ opening week gross as it secured $58 million in its first weekend on its way to a $319 million worldwide gross.
Despite the pandemic’s effect on box office results, the second run out for Sonic looks to race past its predecessor. The film sits at a 68% approval rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but has a stunning A on CinemaScore and 98% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In comparison, Michael Bay’s Ambulance seems to be struggling to get out of the gate. Universal’s new action film starring Jake Gyllenhaal clocked in with a $3.2 million opening day and will end up with a disappointing $8 million opening weekend domestically. This is a shame considering Ambulance is one of Bay’s best films and is the exact kind of thriller / action event theaters are made for.
The struggles of Ambulance highlight once again that audiences have grown increasingly selective as to what films they are willing to doll out cash for to see following the COVID-19 pandemic. The theatrical landscape of movies doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, but it’s certainly undergoing changes in audience interest.