LOS ANGELES - Defying expectations, Paramount's new adventure comedy "Sonic the Hedgehog" took in $57 million this weekend to leap to the top of the North American box office, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.
That figure, based on a Friday-through-Sunday estimate, is expected to grow to $68 million when Monday's Presidents Day holiday in the US is included, proving an exception to the rule that films based on video games rarely excel at the box office.
An early trailer for the film had bombed, Variety reported, prompting the studio to redesign the title character. The result: a Sonic boom.
Far back in second place was last week's leader, Warner Bros superhero film "Birds of Prey," at $17.1 million for the three-day weekend ($19.5 million for four days). Margot Robbie stars as former Joker girlfriend Harley Quinn.
In third was another new release, Sony's horror film "Fantasy Island," at $12.4 million ($14 million). Michael Pena and Maggie Q star in the remake of a 1970s TV show, which has drawn some vicious reviews ("a tide of numbing stupidity," said CNN).
Another new film, Universal's romantic drama "The Photograph," opened in fourth place, at $12.3 million ($14 million). It stars Lakeith Stanfield and Issa Rae.
And in fifth, after weeks at or near the top, was Sony's action comedy "Bad Boys for Life," with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as wise-cracking detectives. It took in an estimated $11.3 million ($12.8 million).
Rounding out the top 10 were:
"1917" ($8.1 million for three days; $9.4 million for four)
"Jumanji: The Next Level" ($5.7 million; $7 million)
"Parasite" ($5.5 million; $6.7 million)
"Dolittle" ($5.1 million; $6.3 million)
"Downhill" ($4.7 million; $5.2 million)
© Agence France-Presse