Sonic The Hedgehog Is Struggling At The Chinese Box Office, But So Is Every Movie

The blue blur's movie has finally launched in China, and it's not making much money--but considering the state of things, that makes sense.

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The Sonic the Hedgehog movie has finally released in China, following a delay due to COVID-19 that has severely impacted its international gross, and it's not making a lot of money. As of August 12 according to the China Box Office Twitter account, the movie has made the equivalent of $2.43 million since its release over the previous weekend.

There's more to this then the Sonic movie simply not being a success in China, however, with 2020 throwing the usual rules out the window.

Since cinemas in China started to partially re-open in July, few new Hollywood films have done particularly well--Doolittle being, oddly, the stand-out, although it's still earning below what it would in a typical year. Bad Boys For Life, the top-grossing film in the world for 2020 so far, is expected to earn just $7 million in China.

This is likely due, at least in part, to piracy, and the Sonic movie likely would have done much better in China if it wasn't easy to pirate a high definition version. The tweet from the China Box Office account, below, notes how much of an issue this is. Bloodshot's failure in the country is notable because Vin Diesel's films have often played well in China--The Fate of the Furious and Furious 7 are the second and third highest-grossing Hollywood films ever in China.

All of this is to say that the failure of Sonic the Hedgehog at the Chinese box office isn't entirely due to the character being unpopular in the country--although, as Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad points out, the Sonic IP is not as well-known in China as it is elsewhere.

Last year, Avengers Endgame broke the record for the highest-grossing Hollywood film in China, earning an astonishing $614 million. We're not going to see numbers like that this year due to the effects of COVID-19 on cinemas.

Sonic the Hedgehog remains the year's second-highest grossing movie internationally. A sequel has been greenlit, which will release April 8, 2022.

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