The Warner Animation Group kicked off nearly a decade ago with 2014’s The Lego Movie. This Friday, their 10th effort under the production banner is DC League of Super-Pets. It comes from director Jared Stern (who wrote The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie) and features the voices of Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson as Batman and Superman’s respective canine pals.
While some of their titles have performed pleasingly at the box office, none of the pics have caught the attention of awards voters. Super-Pets currently sits at a decent 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet if Lego and its spin-offs and sequels didn’t block space on the Best Animated Feature final five, the competition from Disney and others will likely freeze this out too. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…
Blogger’s Note (07/27): I am revising my estimate down considerably- from $42.6M to $33.6M
Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart already share a successful cinematic history via Central Intelligence and the Jumanji franchise. On July 29th, they reunite to respectively provide the voices of Superman and Batman’s canine companions in the animated DC League of Super-Pets. The Warner Animation Group superhero tale (or rather… tail?) is directed by Jared Stern, who did work on the studio’s The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie. John Krasinski voices the Man of Steel while Keanu Reeves does so for the Caped Crusader. Other familiar names contributing vocal work are Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, Marc Maron, and Olivia Wilde.
The Legion of Super-Pets from the DC Comics dates all the way to 1962 and their connection to their iconic masters could get plenty of kids to the multiplexes. It might even get their parents slightly interested. The summer of 2022 has been unpredictable when it comes to animated features. Lightyear was a rare disappointment for Disney/Pixar and Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank outright bombed last weekend. On the other hand, Minions: The Rise of Gru was a massive hit that’s currently rising to a $300 million plus domestic haul. The Bad Guys was also a solid performer in the spring.
So what league will this premiere in? Estimates have it in the $40-50 million range. I see no reason why it would greatly exceed or fall short of expectations. I’m thinking it starts in the low to mid 40s though getting above $50 million is certainly doable.
DC League of Super-Pets opening weekend prediction: $33.6 million
Right before COVID changed the world as we knew it, 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog hit big at the box office. Based on the Sega video game franchise, it amassed the largest opening yet for its genre with $58 million from Friday to Sunday and $70 million for the four-day President’s Day frame.
Just over two years later, the sequel is out April 8th. Jeff Fowler returns to direct with Ben Schwartz reprising his vocal stylings at the title character. Colleen O’Shaughnessey and Idris Elba also lend their words while the live-action cast includes Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, and Shemar Moore.
Budgeted at a reported $110 million, part 2 will hope to approach the $149 million earned domestically by the original. It should have no trouble opening in first place. With the short amount of time between entries, I believe it should manage a low 60s start.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 opening weekend prediction: $62.5 million
In February 2020, Sonic the Hedgehog (based on the popular Sega video game) was one of the last massive box office success stories before COVID shuttered theaters for months. Come Oscar time for the 93rd Academy Awards, one of the surprising omissions was Sonic being left off the shortlist for Best Visual Effects. After all, many of the tentpole projects for 2020 were pushed to 2021 or beyond (including Dune which won last weekend). Instead there were unexpected nominees such as Love and Monsters and The One and Only Ivan.
The new franchise will have another bite at the apple in 2022 with Sonic the Hedgehog 2, opening April 8th. Reviews are decent at 69% on Rotten Tomatoes (a bit stronger than the original’s 63%). Yet if part 1 couldn’t manage to break into VE in a weaker year, I wouldn’t anticipate the sequel making the cut this time around. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…
Blogger’s Note (02/12): My estimate has gone up significantly from $38.7 million to $51.8 million
Based on the Sega video game franchise that dates back nearly three decades, Sonic the Hedgehog premieres over the four-day Presidents Day frame next weekend. From first time director Jeff Fowler, the reported $95 million adventure comedy stars James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, and Ben Schwartz doing the motion capture work as the title character.
Movies based on video games have had a checkered box office history. This is a genre littered with disappointments from Super Mario Bros. to Double Dragon to Street Fighter to Assassin’s Creed. On the other hand, last summer’s Pokemon entry Detective Pikachu set a best ever opening for such pics with $54 million.
Sonic is certainly a known entity and family audiences could gravitate towards it now that Jumanji: The Next Level and (to a lesser extent) Dolittle are winding down. This is not expected to reach Pikachu levels, but a Friday to Monday haul in the high 30s to low 40s range is anticipated and likely.
Sonic the Hedgehog opening weekend prediction: $51.8 million (Friday to Monday estimate)