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Buck and Sonic the Hedgehog

What an interesting month February 2020 has turned out to be at the box office. First, Birds of Prey opens well below expectations, but doesn’t flop, then Sonic the Hedgehog goes from subject of ridicule to video game adaptation champ by opening big, and now we are on the verge of another surprising result. In its second weekend in release after a fantastic debut, Sonic the Hedgehog is in a tight race with The Call of the Wild for box office pack leader.

We won’t know for sure probably until some time Monday, but right now it looks like The Call of the Wild will pull off the upset and narrowly beat out Sonic the Hedgehog for the top spot at the weekend box office. The adaptation of Jack London’s classic novel starring Harrison Ford is on track to finish the weekend with $28 million from 3,752 domestic locations according to Variety.

A $28 million debut would be well above the pre-release expectations for the Disney-20th Century Studios title and might be enough to best Sega’s speedster. Sonic the Hedgehog surprised everyone by also blowing away expectations with a $70 million over President’s Day weekend. The Paramount movie is expected to slide 57% in its second frame to about $25 million from 4,198 locations.

If things bear out that way, that $3 million difference will give The Call of the Wild the edge and the box office crown in this battle of tales of man and CGI beast. Don’t feel too bad for Sonic the Hedgehog though, the Blue Blur should finish this weekend with roughly $105 million in its first 10 days in North America.

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But while Sonic the Hedgehog is still doing well and is the bigger story for this month overall, the story this weekend looks to be Buck and John Thornton. The Call of the Wild received fairly mixed critical reviews that ultimately got it to fresh on Rotten Tomatoes but were not effusive with praise.

Much of the criticism for The Call of the Wild has to do with the film’s reliance on CGI, particularly for the dog and star of the story Buck. But it seems that real or digital, you can’t underestimate the power of dogs or the appeal of Harrison Ford. Opening day audiences really enjoyed The Call of the Wild, netting Chris Sanders’ film an A- CinemaScore.

While that’s all great and The Call of the Wild is doing better than expected, like Buck and the other sled dogs trekking through the Yukon, it’s an uphill climb. The film, which Disney inherited from its purchase of the formerly named 20th Century Fox, cost a whopping $125 million to produce. So like Buck, The Call of the Wild will really have to leg it out and perform well overseas if it hopes to break even.

Elsewhere, Brahms: The Boy II is fighting for fourth place (Birds of Prey should land in third) against Bad Boys For Life, which continues to hang out in the top five a month since its release. Brahms: The Boy II is expected to finish with about $6 million in its debut weekend.

The Call of the Wild is now playing. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what else is headed to theaters this year and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest movie news.

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