Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” and 20th Century Studios’ “The Call of the Wild” have been in a back-and-forth race for the top spot at the box office this weekend, with Blue Blur ultimately edging out the Jack London adaptation Sunday morning with an estimated $26.7 million second weekend total.
“The Call of the Wild,” which was estimated yesterday to take No. 1 with a $27 million opening, is now looking at a $25 million start from 3,752 screens. As both “Call” and “Sonic” are aimed towards family audiences, totals for the two films relied heavily on turnout from that demographic for Saturday matinees. “Sonic” won out on that front, with its Saturday estimated domestic grosses beating “The Call of the Wild” $12 million to $10.2 million, and passing $200 million globally.
“Sonic,” which is looking at a decent 54% drop from its video game adaptation record $58 million opening, is now estimated to have a 10-day total of $107 million. That is 13.5% ahead of the $94.2 million total earned to this point in its run by “Detective Pikachu” last May.
“The Call of the Wild,” meanwhile, has been as well-received by critics and audiences as “Sonic” with an A- on CinemaScore and a 64% Rotten Tomatoes score. Unfortunately, the film’s reported $125-135 million production budget which relied heavily on CG means this will likely be another flop for the studio formerly known as 20th Century Fox.
“The Call of the Wild” is the first film Disney has released from the slate that they acquired with Fox last spring under the renamed 20th Century Studios label, but the new name hasn’t changed the general trend. Save for some modest success with the faith-based film “Breakthrough” and the Oscar-winning “Ford v Ferrari,” the inherited slate has not provided much of an extra boost to Disney’s theatrical grosses. While that might change in December with Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” Disney will be relying mostly on its own slate in 2020 starting with Pixar’s “Onward” in two weeks.
In a distant third is Warner Bros.’ “Birds of Prey” with a $7 million total in its third weekend, giving it a total of $72.5 million. In fourth is STX/Lakeshore’s “Brahms: The Boy II,” which is estimated to earn an opening of $6 million from 2,151 screens, meeting pre-release projections. With a $10 million budget covered by foreign pre-sales, “Brahms” will turn a profit for STX. However, critical and audience reception were both poor with a C- on CinemaScore and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 9%.
Completing the Top 5 is Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” which sits just behind “Brahms” with an estimated $5.8 million in its sixth weekend. Already the highest-grossing film in the “Bad Boys” trilogy, this threequel is now approaching $200 million in domestic grosses and $400 million worldwide. Between this and “Jumanji: The Next Level” with its $310 million total, Sony is on the verge of releasing two films that crossed the $200 million domestic mark this winter.