Well that was fast! Back in February 2020, mere weeks before the pandemic started shutting down his movie theaters, Sega mascot Sonic the Hedgehog finally made his theatrical debut, with the movie receiving a decent amount of positive critical reception and making over $319 million worldwide. A performance like that was enough for Paramount Pictures to greenlight Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and now the sequel is playing in theaters. Well, this incarnation of the super speedy mammal isn’t done making big things happen in a short amount of time, as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is already off to a good start at the box office.
While Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will eventually become available for Paramount+ subscribers to stream in the comfort of their own home, a lot of people turned out in theaters to see the sequel in theaters right away. Deadline reports that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 pulled in $6.25 million domestically from Wednesday fan screenings and Thursday preview screenings that kicked off at 3 pm. The Sonic sequel specifically collected $5 million on Thursday, $2 million more than what its predecessor earned from its preview screenings.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 also far outperformed this weekend’s other big opening movie, Michael Bay’s Ambulance, which only pulled in around $700,000 from Thursday screenings beginning at 7 pm. Although Ambulance has cemented itself as one of the better-reviewed entries in Bay’s filmography (CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg gave Ambulance 3.5 out of 5 stars in his review), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 not only has the benefit of a built-in fanbase that’s been around for decades, but is also a follow-up to a successful movie from just two years ago. As such, it’s not surprising a lot more people turned out to see it as soon as possible.
Other notable movies Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will be going up against its first weekend in theaters include The Lost City, which has over $65 million worldwide so far, and Morbius, which overcame overwhelmingly negative reception to win last weekend’s box office race and currently sits at over $90 minion worldwide. Looking to the future, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore comes out on April 15, and the following Friday will see the release of The Bad Guys, The Northman and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, among others. So it’s not like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 won’t face any major competition these next few weeks, but the Sonic fanbase combined with the sequel being geared towards a larger age range of moviegoers will presumably give it some legs.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sees its title character teaming up with Tails to find the Master Emerald before Dr. Robotnik and Knuckles. Along with Ben Schwartz vocally reprising Sonic and Jim Carrey reprising Robotnik (despite his usual unwillingness to do sequels), the sequel’s other returning actors include James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell and Colleen O’Shaughnessey, the latter of whom previously voiced Tails in the Sonic the Hedgehog mid-credits scene. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 also features the debut of Idris Elba’s Knuckles, who the actor doesn’t see as “sexy” despite what some in the general public think.
Not only is Sonic the Hedgehog 2 playing in theaters (CinemaBlend’s Mike Reyes gave Sonic 2 3.5 out of 5 stars in his review), but fans of this franchise can take comfort knowing that both Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and a Knuckles spinoff series are in the works. CinemaBlend will keep you apprised on the development on those projects and on how Sonic the Hedgehog 2 performs in the weeks ahead.