Sonic the Hedgehog has snatched Detective Pikachu’s US Box Office crown to become the highest-grossing video game adaptation in the United States, having raced past the $144 million mark.
The news comes as the US Box Office struggles through its worst weekend since 1998, with movie-goers forgoing the cinema due to coronavirus fears.
While Sonic and Pikachu have been recreating a match of Super Smash Bros in the domestic movie market, internationally Warcraft reigns supreme, with $439 million worldwide. That’s a hefty chunk more than Sonic’s $306.5 million global take and just edges out Pikachu’s $433 million.
Critics have reported mixed feelings about Sonic the Hedgehog, ranging from commendations for the film’s heart and focus on friendship, to criticism that the film is little more than a ploy to sell merchandise.
Overall the film has landed a 47 on Metacritic, in the same range as Detective Pikachu’s 53. As usual, moviegoers had a different opinion, rating the Hedgehog at a respectable 8.5.
Sonic’s release date of February 14 was fortuitous timing, as it allowed the film to get a good way into its run before the coronavirus escalated, something upcoming movies are going to struggle with.
As the Box Office’s present profits are hamstrung, future profits are suffering delays due to the spread of coronavirus. Netflix and Disney are among several studios halting production in North America during the pandemic, delaying the likes of Stranger Things for Netflix and the live action Mulan for the House of Mouse. The perpetually troubled Uncharted movie has also been hit by the virus, shutting down pre-production for at least six weeks due to the pandemic.
The gaming industry is suffering a similar run of cancellations in the United States and Europe, with E3, originally scheduled to show in June, cancelling it’s 2020 event entirely. Across the Pond in Europe, a host of conventions have also been delayed or cancelled.