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Sonic the Hedgehogimpresses with a mighty US$57m debut

Los Angeles 

PARAMOUNT'S family film Sonic the Hedgehog ignited over the Presidents Day weekend in the US with US$57 million in North America and US$100 million globally, the best showing ever for a video game adaptation.

The better-than-expected start is even more notable since movies based on video games tend to be rejected by moviegoers. That could have been a reality for Sonic had director Jeff Fowler not gone back to the drawing board after immense internet backlash over the first trailer.

The movie, which cost US$87 million to make, was postponed three months to give the filmmakers enough time to redesign the title character. It proved to be a sound decision, since audiences gave the film an "A" CinemaScore.

Sonic unseated last weekend's victor, Warner Bros' comic-book adaptation Birds of Prey, for the No 1 spot on box office charts. After its disappointing US$33 million debut, the Margot Robbie-led superhero adventure landed in second place with US$17.1 million over the weekend.

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A number of movies opened alongside Sonic last weekend, including Universal's romance drama The Photograph, Sony's thriller Fantasy Island and Searchlight Pictures' remake of Downhill.

Fantasy Island came in third place with US$12.4 million. The PG-13 horror remake of the classic TV show, produced by Blumhouse, cost US$7 million.

The Photograph earned US$12.2 million over the weekend, enough for the No 4 spot. That's a solid start since the film cost US$15 million to produce.

The Photograph, starring Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield, was written and directed by Stella Meghie and produced by Will Packer (Girls Trip, Ride Along).

Downhill, a black comedy starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, debuted at No 10 with US$4.6 million over the weekend. REUTERS

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