Paramount reportedly spent around $5 million re-rendering the character. Fans rejoiced over the changes, but will the investment be worth it?

Before and after stills from the Sonic movie. In the previous rendition Sonic's portrayal was more human-like in appearance, unlike his more cartoony appearance fans of the video game were familiar with.
Before (top) and after (bottom)
Image: Paramount Pictures

With the rising costs and declining margins of blockbuster films, it’s a question of how profitable it is to bend public opinion. The Vancouver studio in charge of Sonic‘s post-production fix has since been shuttered by owner the Moving Picture Company. For Cats, it’s not even the case that substandard visual effects are driving bad reviews (though they certainly don’t help).

When Tesla spots a software glitch, there’s no question that an update is in order: Lives are at stake. But in the world of cinema, the benefits of after-the-fact updates may not be justified by the cost—and PR hit—of making them. For now, adjusting films after they’re released to poor reviews seems like merely wound-licking.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.