Lionsgate’s “Hellboy” remake launched to $1.4 million at 2,700 North American locations on Thursday night.
The number compares favorably with 2017’s “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” which scored $1 million in previews and opened with $13.6 million.
Universal’s body-swap comedy “Little” opened with $735,000 at 2,200 sites during Thursday previews.
“Shazam!” will probably repeat as the box office champ in North America after the DC Comics superhero tentpole debuted with $53 million. As of Wednesday, it had earned $67 million at the domestic box office. “Shazam!” launched at the top end of forecasts with an “A” Cinemascore from audiences. It could add another $24 to $28 million in its sophomore frame at 4,306 sites.
“Hellboy,” starring “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour, is expected to take in between $16 million to $20 million when it hits 3,303 screens. Directer by Neil Marshall, “Hellboy” is the third movie based on the Dark Horse comic about the half-demon superhero. The cast includes Ian McShane, Sasha Lane and Daniel Dae Kim.
“Hellboy” has received mostly negative reviews, with a current 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics have compared the R-rated film unfavorably to the two installments directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Ron Perlman. “Hellboy” carries a $50 million production cost.
“Little” stars Regina Hall as a tech mogul and Marsai Martin as the 13-year-old version of herself. The movie has been forecast to start in the $14 million and $18 million range at 2,667 theaters. “Little,” also toplined by Issa Rae, cost $20 million to produce. Reviews have been mixed, with a 51% Rotten Tomatoes score.
Tina Gordon directed the PG-13 comedy, produced by Will Packer, known for his work on “Girls Trip,” “Night School” and the “Ride Along” franchise. The 14-year-old Martin, who stars in “Black-ish,” came up with the premise of the movie and is an executive producer.
Laika Studios’ “Missing Link” should generate between $8 million and $12 million from 3,413 venues for United Artists Releasing. The stop-motion animated adventure follows an explorer searching in the Pacific Northwest frontier for a Bigfoot-type mythical creature. Directed by Chris Butler, the voice cast of “Missing Link” includes Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana and Emma Thompson. Critics have been dazzled, giving “Missing Link” an 88% score.
This weekend’s final release is Aviron’s romantic drama “After,” which is expected to generate less than $10 million at 2,138 locations. The film stars Josephine Langford as a college student who begins a relationship with the school’s resident bad boy, played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin.
The 2019 domestic box office is down 17% so far this year, with $2.61 billion as of April 10. The decline could be attributed to dismal performance during January and February. That gap should narrow when “Avengers: Endgame” opens on April 26 amid expectations that it may set an opening weekend record, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore.
“With just two weeks until the box office equivalent of the 100-year-flood that is ‘Endgame’ arrives at the multiplex, four wide-release newcomers will offer up an extremely diverse array of offerings to entice moviegoers and expose them to trailers and in-theatre marketing for what could be the biggest revenue-generating slate in the history of film,” he added.