With a catchphrase like ‘Gotta Go Fast’, you can bet that Sonic the Hedgehog isn’t easy to catch up with. Fortunately for Paramount Pictures, this extends to Sonic’s appeal at the box office, too. With over $141 million in global box office revenue so far, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 recorded rising ticket sales and good reviews that have ushered in a new benchmark for video game film adaptations, notorious for embarrassing loyal gamers and churning out weak critical and popular acclaim.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2, however, bucks the trend severely boasting a user score of 8.2 on Metacritic, slightly capping off the first film, which released in 2020.
With excited fans heralding a new era for video game films, here’s a few older titles that paved the way for Sonic, and hopefully more films to break ground in the future.
We won’t include the first Sonic film in this list, that would be a bit too easy.
1. Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
Global Box Office Gross: $433,477,601
Positively overflowing with inside jokes for fans of the franchise, Pokémon Detective Pikachu took a wild and wacky spin on the world of Pokémon, giving us a talking Pikachu with an investigative itch to boot.
While the story is often let down by the live-action performances, the incredible character designs, fun references, and Ryan Reynolds-as-Pikachu casting, this is an unforgettable film that took risks – and reaped significant rewards.
2. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Global Box Office Gross: $274,703,340
One of the most early-2000s things ever created, this film may not have aged too well — the cheesy lines and oversexualisation does tend to raise a few eyebrows in 2022.
That said, this was exceptionally ahead of its time and is fun to watch. It was a landmark film for Angelina Jolie, as the actress adopted her child Maddox during the filming of Tomb Raider. It’s said that she even has the holsters from her costume displayed at home.
3. The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
Global Box Office Gross: $352,333,929
Sure, it’s a film based off a popular mobile game from the early smartphone era. Back when the iPhone was in its third generation and iPads had hit the scene, Angry Birds was just about everywhere — the perfect companion for thousands of new smartphone owners looking for bathroom break entertainment.
Surprisingly, the film itself won hearts and wasn’t a blatant cash grab as many people thought. With the voice castings of Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Keegan-Michael Key, and more, the film has plenty of original jokes and some genuine laughs thrown in, all inspired by a simple game from a simpler time.
4. Rampage (2018)
Global Box Office Gross: $428,028,233
“When three different animals become infected with a dangerous pathogen, a primatologist and a geneticist team up to stop them from destroying Chicago.”
Now that’s one hell of a film synopsis. But did you know that the original arcade classic was one of the hottest games of the 1980s? Adding in The Rock only makes it better — giving us a blessed 127 minutes of mindless, action-packed fun — just like the original game.
5. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Global Box Office Gross: $336,365,676
One of the unusual highlights of Jake Gyllenhaal’s career, Sands of Time was a fun romp through dusty wastelands, breathtaking arabesque cities, and iconic crypts inspired directly from the beloved video game series.
Despite rough reviews at the time, the film has become something of a minor cult classic, developing a base of fans over time that appreciated its fair incorporation of video game elements, as well as its unusually talent cast, featuring great veteran actors such as Ben Kinglsey and Alfred Molina.
(Featured Image Credits: Paramount Pictures)