Sonic the Hedgehog beat expectations over Presidents Day Weekend and delivered the best-ever box-office debut for a video game adaptation. The Paramount Pictures film, a division of ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC)(NASDAQ:VIAC.A), managed $57 million in opening-weekend ticket sales domestically and scored $70 million over the four-day holiday period. Global box office for the picture over the four-day stretch came in at $113 million.
Sonic's success was something of a comeback story, with the eponymous main character's design having been changed late in production after fans rejected his initial look and prompted a substantial aesthetic retooling. The strong opening weekend for the famous Sega mascot has cleared the way for a sequel and will likely make movie companies more eager to adapt video game-properties to the big screen.
What's next for video game movies?
Paramount has already announced that it has a a sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog in the works.. Nintendo has been working with Comcast's Illumination Entertainment to bring a Super Mario movie to the big screen, and game properties including Sony's Uncharted and Warner Bros.' Mortal Kombat have had movies in development for years despite a variety of production difficulties.
Gaming companies including Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft have also expressed interest in transitioning more of their franchises to the world of movies. Video-game adaptations have had a long history of box-office underperformance, but gaming is more popular than ever, and film studios are looking for properties that have crossover potential. With Sonic putting up solid numbers, don't be surprised if more gaming series get the green light for the silver screen.