Rumors were flying around that the Sonic movie redesign cost Paramount Pictures $35 million, but it now seems that wasn’t the case. The overhaul of our hero in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie did cost them several million dollars, yes — but it was nowhere near $35 million, it has been reported.
As Indiewire reports, a source close to the production of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie has claimed that it cost a much more reasonable sum of money: no more than $5 million. That doesn’t seem so bad, so why was it so cheap when the Sonic movie redesign was so drastic as compared to the original?
Well, it comes down to the nature of movie production. When that first trailer dropped (and gave some of us nightmares), very little of the film’s visual effects were actually completed. According to this source, the only VFX work that was done was what we saw in the trailer. The decision to change the design of the movie’s beloved main character into something much closer to his original image only really ended up with a loss of what we saw in the trailer, though it certainly did make for a major gain in Internet memes.
It’s entirely possible that the Sonic movie redesign could have been much worse had the VFX all been completed at that point; doing these sorts of visual effects is intensive work and it would have surely added a lot of overtime hours to get the job done as quickly as possible. Although the bill isn’t that high, it does mean that Paramount Pictures are going to have to bring in some more money to offset the cost.
Commenting on Reddit’s /r/movies subreddit, Brazilian musician and film director Joe Penna (Arctic, Turning Point) stated that the math is quite simple: Paramount Pictures will have to bring in a little more than $10 million to pay for the Sonic movie redesign since they only get 50% of the income from ticket sales. Considering the average movie ticket cost is roughly $9.01, that means they’ll have to sell an extra 11,099 tickets to break even.
Of course, these numbers don’t factor in any additional money that might be brought in from DVD, Blu-Ray, and streaming sales. Still, it seems that the Sonic movie redesign has done wonders for redeeming a film that made a major misstep, and I have the feeling that they won’t have any problems making that money back.