The PG-rated sequel took in a rousing $26.5 million from 4,234 theaters on Friday, including $7 million in Thursday previews.
Sonic 2 is one of the few films of the pandemic era to open ahead of its predecessor. In February 2020 — a month before cinemas across the country shut down because of the growing COVID-19 crisis — the first Sonic opened to $58 million on its way to becoming the top-grossing video game movie of all time domestically ($148 million).
James Marsden, Jim Carrey and Tika Sumpter return for this sequel about the otherworldly, bright blue hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz) based on Sega’s hugely successful video game and media franchise. The story continues Sonic’s adventures on Earth following his arrival from a distant planet and his fumbling attempts to befriend a couple living in Montana.
The action pic, released by Universal, grossed $3.2 million on Friday from 3,412 theaters for a projected domestic debut of $8.1 million despite a big push in Imax and premium large format screens. It is expected to open in fourth place behind Sonic 2, Sony’s Morbius – which looks to drop a hefty 70 percent or more in its sophomore outing — and Paramount’s The Lost City.
Eiza Gonzalez also stars in Ambulance, about the aftermath of a Los Angeles bank robbery gone wrong.
Audiences liked Sonic 2 and Ambulance better than critics, bestowing them with an A CinemaScore and A- CinemaScore, respectively. Bay’s movie presently sits at 66 percent on Rotten Tomatoes; Sonic 2 sits at 68 percent.
A24’s critically acclaimed specialty darling Everything Everywhere All At Once is expanding wide in its third weekend to stellar results. The film is expected to place No. 6 with a projected $6 million from 1,250 theaters.
Weekend numbers will be updated Sunday morning.