×

Box Office: ‘Shazam!’ Remains Victorious as ‘Little’ Beats ‘Hellboy’

Warner Bros.’ superhero adventure “Shazam!” took a victory lap at the domestic box office, retaining the No. 1 spot for the second weekend in a row.

“Shazam!” added another $25 million in its sophomore outing, bringing its North American haul to $94 million. That sum was easily enough to top a crop of newcomers including Universal’s comedy “Little,” Lionsgate’s remake of “Hellboy,” and Laika’s stop-motion animation “Missing Link.”

“Shazam!” fell 53% compared to opening weekend ticket sales, which is a promising number given the competition at multiplexes. DC’s masked hero also dominated at the international box office, pulling in $35.9 million for a global bounty of $258 million.

While “Shazam!” continued to entice comic-book fans, “Hellboy” wasn’t as fortunate. The R-rated fantasy film, based on Mike Mignola’s graphic novel, debuted below expectations with a disappointing $12 million from 3,303 locations. Heading into the weekend, box office sages anticipated a start north of $16 million. Overseas, “Hellboy” didn’t fare much better. The film pocketed $10 million from 41 territories, taking its worldwide start to $22 million.

Neil Marshall directed the reboot of “Hellboy,” which sees “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour assume the role of the red-skinned superhero. The movie was skewered by critics and audiences alike. It holds an abysmal 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a disappointing C CinemaScore.

Males accounted for 56% of opening weekend crowds for “Hellboy,” while 64% of moviegoers were over the age of 25. Lionsgate acquired U.S. and U.K. rights to “Hellboy” from Millennium Media, which financed the film. Guillermo del Toro, who directed the original two “Hellboy” movies starring Ron Perlman, was not involved with the most recent adaptation.

Ticket sales for “Hellboy” weren’t enough to secure it second place on box office charts. That honor went to “Little,” a body-swap comedy about a tech mogul (Regina Hall) who transforms back into the 13-year-old version of herself (Marsai Martin) just before a major work presentation. Despite mixed reviews, it generated $15 million when it launched in 2,667 locations. That marks a solid debut, considering Universal spent $20 million to produce “Little.” “Little” also began its international rollout this weekend, grossing $1.9 million from 11 foreign markets.

“Little” pulled in a mostly older female audience, with women accounting for 65% of ticket buyers and 56% over the age of 25. African Americans made up 43% of crowds, while 28% were Caucasian and 21% were Hispanic. Will Packer, known for his work on “Girls Trip,” “Night School,” and the “Ride Along” franchise, produced the PG-13 comedy, which was directed by Tina Gordon. Martin, who came up with the premise of the movie, serves as the youngest executive producer of all time.

Universal’s president of domestic distribution, Jim Orr, points to the genre of “Little” for its strong start. “Little” is the lone comedy in a marketplace mainly dominated by superhero tentpoles and horror flicks.

“‘Little’ doesn’t look like anything else out there right now. More importantly, Will Packer continues to deliver great films for a very diverse audience,” Orr said. “He really does understand an audience and knows how to put together great casts and great writing.”

Elsewhere, “Missing Link” struggled to draw audiences, faltering with $5.8 million when it opened on 3,413 screens. Although it received some of the best reception among new releases — it has an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ CinemaScore — the stop-motion animated adventure just barely cracked the top 10 in its debut.

From Laika, the studio behind “Coraline” and “ParaNorman,” “Missing Link” follows a myths and monsters investigator who sets off to prove the existence of a mythical creature called Mr. Link. Directed by Chris Butler, the voice cast of “Missing Link” includes Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana and Emma Thompson.

This weekend’s final fresh offering “After,” a YA romantic drama launched in eighth place with $6.2 million from 2,138 theaters. The movie, an adaptation of Anna Todd’s best-selling fan fiction novel, pocketed a promising $11.7 million when it debuted in 29 overseas markets.

Paramount’s remake of “Pet Sematary” and Disney’s re-imagining of “Dumbo” rounded out the top five. Based on Stephen King’s novel, “Pet Sematary” scared up another $10 million for a domestic haul to $41 million. Meanwhile, “Dumbo” generated $9.1 million, bringing it to $89.8 million in ticket sales.

Among specialty releases, Bleecker Street’s “Teen Spirit” generated $44,361 when it opened in four theaters, translating to $11,090 per venue. Directed by “The Handmaid’s Tale” actor Max Minghella, the musical drama stars Elle Fanning as a teenager who has big dreams of becoming a pop star.

Another musically driven drama, Gunpower & Sky’s “Her Smell” starring Elisabeth Moss, launched with $39,058 from three screens. That comes out to $13,019 from each location. The film is expanding to an additional 20 cities next weekend.

Despite hits like “Shazam!, “Captain Marvel,” and “Us,” the domestic box office continues to pace behind last year by nearly 17%, according to Comscore. However, there’s a hero on the horizon. Disney and Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” is on track to deliver what could be the biggest opening weekend of all time when it arrives in theaters on April 26. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will have their hands full defeating Thanos. Can they also save the box office?

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Metro 2033

    Cult Sci-Fi Novel 'Metro 2033' to Be Adapted as Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

    Russia’s TNT-Premier Studios Company, TV-3 Channel and Central Partnership Film Company – all part of Gazprom Media – have come together to produce a movie based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s sci-fi novel “Metro 2033,” which has also been adapted as a video game. Filming is due to start next year. The Russian premiere of the movie [...]

  • Beforeigners

    'Beforeigners’' Anne Bjornstad on HBO's First Norwegian Original Series

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  HBO Europe’s first Norwegian original series, which debuted Aug. 21 exclusively across HBO’s territories, has garnered rave reviews in the Norwegian press. It is also a perfect fit for HBO’s brand and goal to create bold, smart and author-driven shows. Produced by Endemol Shine’s Norwegian prodco Rubicon TV, “Beforeigners” is helmed by [...]

  • Refugees from the besieged Muslim enclave

    Sarajevo’s True Stories Market: Documenting the Atrocities of War

    Reconciliation and dealing with the tragedies of the Yugoslav Wars has been a major focus of the Sarajevo Film Festival and its CineLink Industry Days event in recent years. The True Stories Market, launched in 2016, aims to connect filmmakers with organizations that are researching and documenting the Yugoslav Wars that spanned 1991 to 2001 [...]

  • Ena Sendijarevic’s ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’

    Ena Sendijarevic’s ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’ Wins Top Prize in Sarajevo

    “Take Me Somewhere Nice,” Bosnian director Ena Sendijarević’s coming-of-age story about a teen raised in the Netherlands who returns to Bosnia to visit her ailing father, won the top prize at the Sarajevo Film Festival Thursday night, earning the Amsterdam-based helmer the coveted Heart of Sarajevo Award. The jury heralded the “beautifully photographed, acted, scripted [...]

  • Khadar Ahmed - BUFO - photo

    Bufo Sets Key Cast for Co-Production ‘The Gravedigger' (EXCLUSIVE)

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —   Actor Omar Abdi, who starred in the Ahmed-scripted short “Citizens,” and actress Yasmin Warsame, who made her name as a Canadian model, will topline romantic-tragedy “The Gravedigger,” the latest big screen project from Bufo, the Helsinki-based outfit behind Berlinale winner “The Other Side of Hope.” The film follows a Djibouti gravedigger [...]

  • Jacobs Ladder Movie 2019

    Film Review: 'Jacob's Ladder'

    It’s understandable that someone would want to remake “Jacob’s Ladder,” Adrian Lyne’s 1990 head-trip thriller about a Vietnam veteran haunted by fragmentary nightmare visions. I was far from alone in finding the original to be an overwrought but rather thin “psychological” horror film that was more punishing than pleasurable. And it wasn’t exactly a hit, [...]

  • Fiddler A Miracle of Miracles

    Film Review: 'Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles'

    Still beloved and routinely revived 55 years after its Broadway debut — including a Yiddish-language version now playing in New York — “Fiddler on the Roof” is a popular phenomenon that shows no sign of subsiding. Max Lewkowicz’s “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” provides an entertaining if hardly exhaustive overview of how the unlikely success [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content