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'Sonic' sequel zips to top of N.America box office

Director Jeff Fowler (L-R), Ben Schwartz and producer Toby Ascher pose with 'Sonic the Hedgehog' on a Paramount lot in Los Angeles on April 02, 2022, days before the release of the second 'Sonic' film; Schwartz voices the title character . ©AFP

Los Angeles (AFP) - Paramount's action-adventure film "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" took in an estimated $71 million in North America this weekend, a welcome sign for Hollywood that families are returning to in-person viewing, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

"This is an outstanding opening," particularly for a sequel to a video-based movie, said David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research. 

The original "Sonic" film, based on the popular Sega game involving a lightning-fast hedgehog, scored a $58 million opening in early 2020 at a time when Covid-19 was only beginning to register as a threat.

The latest hybrid production includes Jim Carrey in a live-action role, while Ben Schwartz (Sonic), Idris Elba (Knuckles) and Colleen O'Shaughnessey (Tails) voice animated characters.

Last weekend's box office leader, Sony's vampire flick "Morbius," placed a very distant second this weekend, taking in $10.2 million, a steep drop from last weekend's $39.1 million.Jared Leto stars as a Nobel Prize-winner turned blood sucker in an adaptation from Marvel comics.

In third was another Paramount film, action romance "The Lost City," at $9.2 million.Sandra Bullock plays a romance novelist kidnapped by a twisted tycoon (Daniel Radcliffe) who wants her to help him find a buried artifact on a remote, volcano-prone island. 

Fourth spot went to a new Universal release, action adventure "Ambulance," at $8.7 million.Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II star as adoptive siblings who steal an ambulance to escape after a bank heist.

And in fifth was dark superhero film "The Batman" from Warner Bros., taking in $6.5 million in its sixth week out.Robert Pattinson plays the caped crime fighter.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Everything Everywhere All at Once" ($6 million)

"Uncharted" ($2.7 million)

"Dog" ($635,000)

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" ($625,000)

"Jujutsu Kaisen 0" ($500,000)

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