Harrison Ford’s ‘Call of the Wild’ Battles ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ at Box Office

Sonic the Hedgehog” will have to worry about more than just a waxy mustached villain this weekend. Paramount’s family film will face box office competition from another kid-friendly adventure, Disney and 20th Century’s “The Call of the Wild.”

Harrison Ford and a dog named Buck star in “The Call of the Wild,” the latest big-screen adaptation of Jack London’s early 1900s novel. The PG film is expected to bring in $10 million to $18 million when it opens in 3,700 venues in North America over the weekend, likely not enough to supplant reigning champ “Sonic.”

After “Sonic’s” stellar $70 million launch over the Presidents’ Day holiday — cementing a new opening weekend record for video game adaptations — the movie should easily top box office charts again. “Sonic” could add another $25 million to $30 million to its domestic haul if it holds similarly to other video game adaptations like “Detective Pikachu” or Dwayne Johnson’s “Rampage.”

“The Call of the Wild,” written by Michael Green (“Logan,” “Blade Runner 2049”) and directed by Chris Sanders, follows a man named John Thornton (Ford) who crosses paths with Buck, a dog who was captured from his California home and sold to freight haulers. It’s gotten a mixed critical response, with Rotten Tomato scores averaging 68%.

Ford’s first major on-screen film role in years could help attract older moviegoers, but with a $125 million price tag, “The Call of the Wild” will have to expand beyond its core demographic to turn a profit. Unless it beats expectations, the film is shaping up to be the latest dud for Disney since acquiring Fox. With the exception of “Ford v Ferrari,” Disney’s inheritance from the Murdoch’s film empire has by and large been comprised of box office flops, including “Dark Phoenix” and “Underwater” with Kristen Stewart.

“The Call of the Wild” is launching alongside STX and Lakeshore’s supernatural horror sequel “Brahms: The Boy II.” The PG-13 thriller, based on the character from 2016’s “The Boy,” should collect $6 million to $8 million from 2,100 venues in its inaugural outing. Katie Holmes stars in “Brahms: The Boy II,” which follows a young family which moves into the guest house of a terrifying mansion. It cost $10 million to make. After foreign pre-sales, STX says its exposure on the film is under $3 million.

At the specialty box office, Focus Features’ “Emma” is opening in theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The retelling of Jane Austen’s classic book stars Anya Taylor-Joy as a matchmaker who meddles in the affairs of her friends and family. Reviews have been mostly positive, with Variety’s Andrew Barker calling it a “handsome, clever, faithfully unambitious take.”

Amazon’s “Seberg” is also debuting in three venues — Angelika in New York and Arclight and Landmark in Los Angeles — ahead of a wider expansion the following weekend. Kristen Stewart stars in the political thriller about actress Jean Seberg (Stewart), who finds herself the target of an FBI surveillance program due to her associations with activist Hakim Jamal. The movie itself wasn’t well embraced after premiering at Venice last year, but Stewart’s performance was widely praised. Benedict Andrews directed the film, which also stars Margaret Qualley, Zazie Beetz, Anthony Mackie and Vince Vaughn.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Wonder Woman 1984

    Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Wipe Out All of Summer Blockbuster Season?

    Say goodbye to blockbuster season — at least for this year. After would-be summer hits from Disney, Warner Bros., and Universal already vacated their release dates, Sony Pictures announced Monday that its comic book adventure “Morbius,” “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” and virtually all of its upcoming tentpoles were being moved into the fall or beyond. It was [...]

  • 'Dolphin Reef' Review: A Dazzling Look

    'Dolphin Reef' on Disney Plus: Film Review

    Out of the vast universe of nature documentaries, I don’t think I’m alone in finding films about life under the sea to occupy a special place. The very fact that they exist, of course, is amazing — though when you watch one, part of the wonder is that you’re not thinking about how aquamarine filmmakers [...]

  • Black AF Netflix

    Everything Coming to Netflix in April

    As everyone continues to self-quarantine and practice social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no better “at-home” activity than catching up on all the new films and shows streaming on Netflix this April. A number of new series are set to premiere on the streaming platform, including “Never Have I Ever,” “#BlackAf,” “OuterBanks,” “The [...]

  • Steven Spielberg AFI Movie Club

    Steven Spielberg Launches AFI's New Movie Club With 'The Wizard of Oz'

    As the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate and Americans face more time in quarantine, “There’s no place like home” resonates in an entirely different way, with the power to save millions – not just Dorothy. Aiming to encourage social distancing, the American Film Institute announced the launch of the AFI Movie Club with the help [...]

  • U.K. Distributors Take Concrete Steps to

    U.K. Distributors Take Steps to Support Independent Cinemas Amid Coronavirus

    U.K. cinemas remain shuttered due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and while some of the large chains with deep pockets have the wherewithal to ride out the crisis, independent cinemas are suffering. Some U.K. distributors have come up with solutions to remedy this. Modern Films was due to release Haifaa Al-Mansour’s festival favorite “The Perfect [...]

  • Vincent Marzello Obit Dead

    'The Witches' Star Vincent Marzello Dies at 68

    Actor Vincent Marzello, best known for his roles in “The Witches,” “Superman” and “The Spy Who Loved Me,” died on Tuesday. He was 68. Marzello’s wife, “Notting Hill” actor Lorelei King, tweeted the news. “The love of my life, my darling husband Vincent Marzello, died this morning,” she wrote. “To those who knew him, I [...]

  • Paris, France

    French Producers, Insurers Clash Over Coronavirus Damages

    French producers have banded together to lobby the government to push insurance companies to start covering damages caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In any other country, asking insurance companies to change their policies in the midst of a pandemic for the sake of solidarity would be perceived as a practical joke, but not in France. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content