Box office: ‘Sonic 2’ climbs to 71 million dollars, Michael Bay’s ‘Ambulance’ stops

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LOS ANGELES, April 10 (Variety.com) — “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” hit $71 million on its domestic box office debut, a hopeful indication that family audiences are feeling better about it. to return to the theatre.

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Taking the top spot, Paramount’s kid-friendly film topped Sony’s Marvel adaptation “Morbius” and Universal’s Michael Bay action-adventure “Ambulance,” which debuted to a disappointing $8 million.

Ticket sales for “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” set a new record for video game adaptations, edging the opening weekend record set by its predecessor, 2020’s “Sonic the Hedgehog.” raised $58 million in its first three days of release and ended President’s Day weekend with $70 million.

“It’s an exceptional opening,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. “With strong reviews and very strong ratings, ‘Sonic’ is going to have a strong run.”

Jeff Fowler returned to direct “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” after leading the original film to $319 million worldwide and setting a record for the highest-grossing video game adaptation in North America. Ben Schwartz returned to voice the fast blue creature with a knack for stopping bad guys and Jim Carrey reprized his role as mad scientist Doctor Robotnik, a combo that proved to be a hit among moviegoers. “Sonic 2” nabbed an “A” CinemaScore from audiences.

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” cost $90 million, far more than the $40 million Bay and Universal paid for “Ambulance.” This is a relatively cheap price for “Ambulance”, which is heavy on explosives and special effects. However, the $40 million figure does not include the many millions spent on marketing and other efforts necessary to publicize the film’s release.

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The lackluster start to “Ambulance” is another sign of changing consumer tastes. The kind of adrenalized, physics-defying mojo that turned past Bay movies like “Armageddon” and “Pearl Harbor” into zeitgeist-y hits doesn’t always work these days. In today’s theater environment, fewer genres seem to resonate with ticket buyers.

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