‘Sonic’ Beats ‘Call of the Wild’ with $26 Million in a Close Box Office Battle

     February 23, 2020

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Just when you thought there were no more surprises at the box office, Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog beats 20th Century Studios’ The Call of the Wild. This is the second weekend for Sonic and the opening weekend for Call of the Wild. Projected earnings for both features put them in a close race but it looked like the latter flick starring Harrison Ford and his trusty CGI dog Buck would beat out Ben Schwartz‘s furry speedster with $8 million earned on Friday.

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Image via Paramount Pictures

In the narrowest win we’ve seen in quite a while, Sonic the Hedgehog emerges from its second weekend in theaters with $26 million domestic. This brings Sonic‘s domestic total up to $106.6 million — not too shabby at all for a feature with an $85 million budget. Despite the 55% in week-to-week earnings, the Paramount release averaged $6,265 per theater and was shown on 4,198 screens nationwide. Overseas, Sonic has earned $96.5 million total and has a current worldwide total of $203.1 million. Sonic started off strong with its opening falling on a four-day holiday weekend. Thanks to timing, an A CinemaScore, some solid appeal for nostalgic parents, and a kid-friendly story, Sonic brought in $70 million during its opening weekend. With this surprise photo-finish over Call of the Wild, it’s likely Sonic will remain at the top of the box office throughout the week.

The Call of the Wild finished its opening weekend with $25 million domestic in the bank. The latest adaptation of Jack London‘s beloved 20th century tale of a man and his dog making their way through the tough Alaskan wilderness starred Ford and a CGI dog named Buck. Aimed squarely at families looking for a heartwarming, thrilling adventure, the PG feature earned an A- CinemaScore and currently holds a 63% critical score and 90% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Domestic audiences were evenly split between men and women, with kids making up 23% of the 68% general audience. Showing in 3,752 theaters nationwide, Call of the Wild averaged $6,615 per theater. Overseas, the pic brought in $15.4 million from 40 markets, making for a worldwide total of $40.2 million. The top five highest earning territories were (in order): France ($2.6M), the UK ($1.9M), Mexico ($1.4M), Russia ($1.2M), and Italy ($900K).

Additional new release Brahms: The Boy II from STX Entertainment and starring Katie Holmes closed out its opening weekend with $6 million domestic. The sequel to 2016’s The Boy also earned $2.2 million overseas, taking its worldwide total to $8.1 million. Domestically, Brahms: The Boy II averaged $2,743 per theater and was shown on 2,151 screens nationwide. Despite the chilly critical reception and audience rating of a C- CinemaScore, STX’s exposure on the film was kept to a minimum with $2.5 million. As such, the studio is likely still feeling pretty good about how their horror feature is faring at this point in time.

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Image via Warner Bros.

The rest of the movies placing in this weekend’s top 10 all experienced notable dips in both ranking and week-to-week earnings. At number three is Birds of Prey, bringing in $7 million and bringing up its domestic total to $72.5 million. Recent release Fantasy Island fell to number seven in its second theatrical weekend with $4.2 million domestic (a 66% dip). Best Picture winner Parasite and Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level dropped a respective 45% and 46%, earning $3.1 million and $3 million domestic. In the case of Jumanji: The Next Level, this is still a massively impressive outcome considering its now finished its 11th weekend in theaters.

Rank Title Weekend Total
1. Sonic the Hedgehog $26,300,000 $106,601,671
2. The Call of the Wild $24,820,000 $24,820,000
3. Birds of Prey $7,005,000 $72,529,015
4. Brahms: The Boy II $5,900,000 $5,900,000
5. Bad Boys For Life $5,860,000 $191,175,645
6. 1917 $4,400,000 $151,987,469
7. Fantasy Island $4,185,000 $20,172,070
8. Parasite $3,121,000 $48,942,489
9. Jumanji: The Next Level $3,000,000 $310,964,423
10. The Photograph $2,800,000 $17,644,640

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