Live-action video games continue to show their success in the box-office, as Sonic the Hedgehog beats the records that Detective Pikachu set the year prior.
Sonic the Hedgehog is on its way to become the most successful video game-adaptation movie in box office history. The last movie of the same category to break that record was Detective Pikachu. The two movies have done revolutionary benchmarks for movies to be based on video games. With the success of both being set so high, who knows which video game adaptation live-action film will be made next? For now, we can celebrate what the two have done together.
Detective Pikachu was released on May 10, 2019. It was the first story from the Pokemon franchise to be released that was not based on the main story or the animated series. The movie was loosely based on the 2016 video-game title that had created a fan following.
Leading up to the release of the film, fans were hesitant to the idea that another live-action video game film would be a flop in the theater. The results of the film was a shock as a late spring hit. Up against all odds, it set the record for the highest opening for a video game adaptation in an opening weekend at $69 million. The film was up even bigger obstacles than being a film based on a popular video game franchise.
Detective Pikachu also had to go against the most anticipated film of the year, Avengers: Endgame, which was the only movie to beat the Pokemon spin-off during its opening weekend. The Marvel film was reigning supreme as the number one movie at the box office for the third week in a row. Sadly, Detective Pikachu never saw that spot as it continues to fall to films like John Wick: Chapter 3, Aladdin, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Yet, the movie did not fizzle out in ways of being popular and its success in box office sales.
Until the end of May, Detective Pikachu would average $10 million every week and would carry on being in the movies until the end of summer. The movie would bring in a total of $433 million from worldwide distribution, which would beat any Pokemon movie ever released in theaters.
Sonic the Hedgehog is another popular franchise that has had its success as a video game franchise. The anticipation of this movie debuting even took some backlash when it first debut in trailers in the theater.
Sega did do their due diligence to hear the voice of the fans of the franchise and make the changes that the fans wanted for them to enjoy this movie. Sega has had more recognition back in the video game community with the help of Nintendo. Alongside the Mario vs. Sonic titles and being a primary fighter in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, the crossover has been a wonderful marriage with the company’s mascot. The live-action movie-going toe-to-toe with the iconic Pokemon movie was simply taking the torch from last year’s smash hit.
Sonic the Hedgehog is set to make $70 million in its first-weekend release, even getting a bonus for the extra weekend day for President’s Day. The film will also win the number one movie in the weekend box office, a feat that Detective Pikachu failed to meet. This is also an exceptional statistic for a film to gain this much momentum after an Academy Award show, with the results usually driving more film fanatics to go to the movies and watch the films that took home awards. Sonic the Hedgehog also is favored to repeat in back-to-back weekends at the box office with only two films to be released the weekend following, with The Call of the Wild and Brahms: the Boy II.
Putting the two movies against each other, there probably will be more popular for Sonic franchise winning over new fans of the video game to pique their curiosity. The Pokemon fans are already at an all-time high, and they did not need a movie to awake more fans into the franchise to draw more attention to it. This argument also holds with the current success of Pokemon Sword and Shield dominating video game sales since the holiday season of last year.
There has not been a recent successful franchise title since Sonic Mania, which was released in 2017. Without video games alone, this film helped the Sonic franchise jump to the next level of entertainment in other media platforms.
Detective Pikachu set the benchmark of success on how video game movies should be received. With the fanship that Pokemon has carried the franchise, it was anticipated to have great support from the community to ring in a new era of fans. Setting new trends of Pokemon in live-action, it was even more interesting to see Pokemon being used outside of their primary role outside of the Pokemon franchise. It is a true triumph for the franchise to step outside their familiar territory in video games and expanding their realm of entertainment in other faces of media.
This is only the beginning of what will be the future of the Pokemon franchise. It surely could be the key catalyst for major success of other famous Nintendo titles to step outside their comfort zone and set the bar even further for video games.