In what is being described as the most disappointing year for the box office in history, one unlikely winner has been the Sonic the Hedgehog live-action feature. It's not just that the movie arrived in theaters with low expectations, it's that it was actively disowned by its fandom when the trailer for the film dropped, revealing a design for Sonic the Hedgehog that was horrifying instead of cute. Sonic's voice actor, Ben Schwartz, recently commented on the redesign controversy.
"The way that I saw it first I think was on the trailer. I had to do ADR for the actual trailer because up until then it was all very temp. But I believe the trailer had to be done very quickly or something like that. So the first time I saw it was then. And then when it came out and the reaction it got when it came out. First of all we didn't know if anyone would care. We care because we like video games and movies it seems."
"But the biggest thing we learned from that was that when it came out so many people were so vocal and it became a huge thing. It got passed around so much. It may have not been the most positive reason why it was getting passed around, but it got passed around so much and so people had such heartfelt passionate ideas for it. That the biggest thing we learned was 'Oh, people care a lot. Let's look at this and figure it out.'"
The trailer for Sonic revealed a computer-generated hedgehog that was made to look as realistic as possible, with a lean body and humanized features. Unfortunately, the result was a Sonic that looked nothing like the video game characters fans have grown up with. So intense was the backlash that the movie's creators issued a statement promising that the film was going to be reshot with an ered Sonic design. And that was a good thing, according to Ben Schwartz.
"The big thing they were trying to do was how do you bring Sonic into the real world? Because he's a computer character, you can't just bring him in. How will he look in a real life situation? So I think that's what they were tackling. But I will say the new version... when I was doing my voice the whole time I was doing it the way the new version looks. In my head, that's the way it looked. So when I saw the first one I was like ok, but when I saw the second one I was like 'This is in my head what the little guy looks like.'"
Caving in to fan outrage proved to be a smart move, and the movie went on to become a hit at the box office, guaranteeing sequels and spin-offs for the franchise for years to come. Now let's hope the people behind Mario take the cue and bring the plump plumber, the most iconic gaming mascot ever, on to the big screen soon as well. This comes from Cinemablend.
We have charts from five VOD and streaming platforms; they don’t use the same metrics, and are not independently verified. However, FandangoNOW leads the herd in its decision to list by the nearest equivalent of “grosses” — that is, the number of transactions times the cost. With the majority of releases at $19.99, it gives a better view of comparative performance.
Across the board at FandangoNOW, iTunes, and Amazon Prime, “Sonic the Hedgehog” Paramount and “Bad Boys for Life” Sony —the two top theatrical releases of 2020 — are thriving. Spectrum Cable’s weekly chart, which appears to be a little slower to pick up trends, doesn’t yet show those two films at all. However, like FandangoNOW, it does reflect the presence of the faith-based terminal illness romance “I Still Believe” Lionsgate, the other significant new release over the past week.
Other new titles like STX’s “Brahms: The Boy II” available at a lower price of $9.99 and the year’s best-reviewed new film “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” Focus, which was released Friday — are so far sight unseen.
To judge by platforms that rank by transactions, lower prices do help. We also list Netflix, which is based on the streamer’s ranking of viewings. It presents perhaps the most curious test of what interests the public and what the future of movies and other forms of recorded entertainment looks like.
We will cover this in far more detail midweek as well as look at winners and losers so far and possible trends and changes to come.
full week rank based on total sales price, not no. of transactions
1 Bad Boys for Life Sony – $19.99
2 Sonic the Hedgehog Paramount – $19.99
3 The Invisible Man Universal – $19.99
4 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Disney – $4.99
5 Onward Disney – $4.99
6 Bloodshot Sony – $19.99
7 Jumanji: The Next Level Sony – $4.99
8 Birds of Prey Warner Bros. – $19.99
9 I Still Believe Lionsgate – $19.99
10 The Call of the Wild Disney – $4.99
rank based on transactions; list includes current and highest position during the week
1 1 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Disney – $4.99