Box Office Breakdown: ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ rolls over ‘Morbius’ 


Making its debut this weekend was “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.” As one can assume from its title, it is the sequel to the 2020 film “Sonic the Hedgehog,” which became the highest grossing video game film adaptation of all time domestically. The sequel hoped to replicate this box office success by surpassing its predecessor’s total. 

After this opening weekend, it’s looking quite likely that it will. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” opened this weekend to a total of $71 million. This is an incredible success for this film, being over 20% more than the previous film’s three-day opening weekend total. With this opening, “Sonic” looks to hit $160 million domestically, perhaps even more with solid holds week-to-week. With a reported $90 million production budget, factoring in marketing costs and the theatrical share of revenue, the film likely needs to gross over $370 million worldwide to guarantee profit. With an $141 million opening weekend worldwide, that total certainly is in play, though I see the film closing at around $350 million due to oncoming competition in the market. 

In second place this weekend is last week’s No. 1, “Morbius,” which grossed $10.2 million. The critically panned film absolutely tanked this weekend, dropping an astounding 73.9%. This was not very surprising considering the film’s poor audience and critical reception. Nonetheless, the film has made $57 million thus far domestically, which is not terrible but not what Sony hoped for. With competition coming these next few weeks, it will be surprising to see “Morbius” last in the top five much longer. 

In third place is the adventure-comedy “The Lost City” with a $9.2 million gross this weekend. This pushes the Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum picture to $68.8 million domestically. This was an impressive weekend for “The Lost City” as it dropped only 37.7%. If the film can continue to hold this well, $90 million domestically is in play. Nonetheless, with a reported $68-74 million budget, it is highly unlikely this film will profit. 

In fourth and fifth place this week are “Ambulance” and “The Batman” with $8.7 million and $6.55 million respectively. This was a very disappointing opening weekend for the $40 million budgeted “Ambulance.” The Michael Bay-directed action thriller severely underperformed and will now have difficulty clearing $25 million domestically, unless it has some otherworldly holds. “The Batman” dropped 40.5% this weekend, still unable to drop below that 40% number. The film’s inability to hold below 40% means it will likely not reach that $390 million domestic number we previously expected. 

Next weekend brings the wide release of one new film: “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.” 

The “Fantastic Beasts” franchise has seen diminishing returns for Warner Bros. The first grossed $234 million domestically and the second fell to $159 million. The previous film was also fairly poorly received by critics and fans. Factoring in this lack of franchise excitement and the ongoing controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling, it is difficult to see this film usurping it’s predecessor’s total. With a reported $200 million budget, I can’t even see this film profiting, unless something shocking happens. I expect around a $40 million opening for “The Secrets of Dumbledore.” 

But we will see, there are a number of Harry Potter fans domestically, and who knows, perhaps they will come out in swaths to support this picture opening weekend. Will “Fantastic Beasts” cast a spell at the box office next week? 

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