Sonic Movie's Success Is Paying Off Big Time, As Sega Is Seeing "Many New Opportunities"
This year’s Sonic the Hedgehog film was one of the final blockbuster movies released in theatres before the COVID-19 shutdown. The movie was a big success, surpassing Detective Pikachu to become the highest-grossing video game movie of all-time in the United States.
Sonic Studio’s chief brand officer, Ivo Gerscovich, has now commented on the success of the film and how it’s shaped the Sonic brand overall. Gerscovich said in a Reddit AMA that the movie helped re-invigorate the Sonic series and help it become even more relevant.
“The success of the film has positively impacted many areas of the brand from bringing in a new generation of fans to reaching fans in places all over the world that may not be as accessible for us alone,” he said.
“The team and I have been building the Sonic brand over the last five years and what may have been ‘headwinds’ initially when the new team was formed are turning to ‘tailwinds’ (strong support),” Gerscovich added. “From the inside, working on a brand that was viewed as ‘nostalgic’ previously that has become very ‘relevant’ is like pushing on a big snowball ball to help it gain speed and then it starts picking up momentum and starts rolling faster and faster–and then suddenly it’s about just trying to keep up.”
Gerscovich said the Sonic franchise is now in an “exciting place,” and the success of the movie has opened new doors. “The brand’s growth and success is presenting many new opportunities to tell new stories and deliver new content and products,” he said.
In another reply on Reddit, Gerscovich said he knew early on that the Sonic movie had the secret sauce necessary for success. “Seeing first-hand the talent of all the people involved and the care and desire to make a great Sonic film, my spidey senses told me that we had something special,” he said. “That being said, the fact that the movie broke film records for a video game adaptation is a big testament to all those who worked tirelessly on this project as well as the growing fanbase that supported the film.”
The Sonic movie didn’t have the smoothest release, however. The first trailer featured a bizarre-looking Sonic design, and, responding to fan feedback, the studio elected to delay the movie to give him a new look. His new design, which was worked on by a studio that has since closed, was much more positively received.
Given the financial success of the first Sonic movie, you might expect there to be a sequel. If it’s happening, it hasn’t been announced yet, but Gerscovich hopes it does. “There is nothing to announce, but speaking for myself and my family, we would love to see another film,” he said. “My kids are still quoting me lines from the movie every day and coming up with new storylines.”
Sonic made $146 million in the US and $167.7 million from international markets for a total of $306.7 million worldwide. While it’s the highest-grossing video game movie in the US, it still lags behind Warcraft ($439 million), Detective Pikachu ($433 million), Rampage ($428 million), and the 2010 Jake Gyllenhaal movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ($336 million) at the global box office for video game adaptations. Notably, however, Sonic was not released in China and Japan, while those other movies were.
Sonic is directed by Jeff Fowler, who earned an Oscar nomination for his 2004 animated movie Gopher Broke and made his feature film directorial debut with the project. Ben Schwartz voices Sonic, while Jim Carrey plays Robotnik.
There are plenty more video game adaptations in the works, including an Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland Mark Wahlberg, as well as films based on Monster Hunter and Mortal Kombat. On TV, HBO just announced a Last of Us series.
Sonic was produced by Paramount, whose parent company–ViacomCBS–also owns GameSpot.
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