‘Hellboy’ tops ‘Hancock’ at box office

Universal sequel takes in $13.8 million Friday

It was boom or bust at the Friday box office.

Universal’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” directed by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, grossed an estimated $13.8 million from 3,204 runs on Friday to win the day on the strength of males and an aggressive marketing campaign.

The critically acclaimed “Golden Army,” which should win the weekend and open north of $30 million, outpaced the $8.6 million earned by del Toro’s 2004 “Hellboy” on its first Friday.

At the other end of the spectrum, Eddie Murphy’s family comedy “Meet Dave” couldn’t rally much interest at all, grossing an estimated $1.7 million from 3,011 runs for New Regency and 20th Century Fox. It’s the worst debut for a Murphy pic since the ill-fated “Adventures of Pluto Nash,” which grossed $727,870 on its opening day in 2002. “Meet Dave” placed No. 7 on Friday.

The weekend’s third new wide release, New Line and Walden Media’s family action-adventure “Journey to the Center of the Earth” in 3-D did a pleasant $6.7 million from 2,390 screens, of which 854 are digital 3-D screens. “Journey,” released by Warner Bros.,placed No. 3 for the day behind “Hellboy” and Sony holdover “Hancock.”

Interestingly, both “Hellboy” and “Meet Dave” received the same CinemaScore—a B. “Journey” did better, earning an A-.

Will Smith tentpole “Hancock” declined just 44% in its second Friday to an estimated $10.4 million from 3,965 runs for a cume of roughly $142.4 million.

Disney-Pixar’s “Wall-E” continued to play well, grossing an estimated $5.6 million on Friday for a cume of nearly $150 million, or $149.9 million.

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