That number is the same as what Dreamworks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World made last year with a $3M Thursday off 6pm showtimes before going to a $55M opening weekend. Other titles that Sonic is being compared to include Lego Batman ($2.2M 5pm previews, $53M opening), Lego Movie 2 ($1.5M 4pm previews, $34.1M opening), and MGM/UAR’s animated movie Addams Family ($1.25M 4pm previews, $30.3M opening). Tracking and industry estimates have a wide projection on the 4-day for Sonic: $40M-$50M. And after last weekend’s letdown with Warner Bros.’ Birds of Prey coming in 37% under its tracking projections with $33M, man, do theaters need a hit.
Sonic is at 65% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which though lower than it was yesterday, still won’t hurt it because it’s a family film. Lifelong fans of the Sega game are turning up wearing Sonic shirts this weekend, I heard last night’s 7PM shows at the Century City AMC was sold out.
Universal’s Issa Rae-LaKeith Stanfield romance movie The Photograph earned $650K at 2,250 theaters from shows that began at 7PM. The Stella Meghie written and directed film is expected to do between $12.5M and $15M over the 4-day weekend.
Sony did not hold previews last night for Blumhouse’s feature take on the hit ABC 1980s show Fantasy Island. The studio held last minute previews quite late: yesterday at 2PM, and unfortunately that only makes us more suspicious about the $7M pic’s prospects here. Tracking was lowered to $12M over the 4-day yesterday from $13M-$15M.
Searchlight also has the Will Ferrell-Julia Louis Dreyfus comedy Downhill opening today at 2,301 theaters.