The Sonic saga has been a rollercoaster. A total character redesign, a release date delay and a studio closure plagued the hedgehog's big screen debut before he even got started. But we're pleased to tell you that it's all been worth it as the opening weekend has surpassed expectations, smashing box office records.
Sonic has whirled past his closest movie rival, none other than Detective Pikachu, to take the record for the best opening weekend for a video game film adaptation. If you want to create an equally successful character, check out our character design tips.
The Blue Blur's first cinematic weekend has seen box office totals of $57 million (£43 million) in the United States. For comparison, the previous record-holder Detective Pikachu amassed just $54 million (£41 million), $3 million less than his spiky counterpart. However, it remains to be seen if Sonic's global takings of $100 million (£76 million) will eventually overtake Pikachu's overall takings of $433 million worldwide (£332 million).
Given the turbulent reactions to the first incarnation of Sonic, it's clear the final Sonic design needed to be totally on point to ensure the success of the film. Sonic's signature eyes were a major part of the problem for gamers who grew up with him, as were his human-like features (including his naked hands, devoid of white gloves), and pointy nose and mouth.
Director Jeff Fowler knew that the reaction of the fans was the most accurate barometer. “It was pretty clear on the day the trailer was released just seeing the feedback and hearing the feedback… that fans were not happy enough with where we were at,” Fowler said in an interview with our sister site Games Radar. When the second trailer was released (see it below), fans were jumping for joy as it became clear that Fowler had ordered a total redesign that solved the issues.
As for the reaction to the film itself, it's an across-the-board hit. Fans on Twitter are thanking Paramount and calling the film a masterclass.
Thanks for listening to the fans.The movie was a masterclassFebruary 16, 2020
And some are going even further with their praise.
4 words: Best. Video Game. Movie.February 16, 2020
Sonic's success shows the power of social media in communicating fan feedback, and we applaud Fowler for listening. We bet Paramount is applauding him, too, with returns like that.