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Hellboy’s opening weekend isn’t worth a damn

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Just $12 million puts reboot in a heck of a lot of trouble

David Harbour stars as ‘Hellboy’ in HELLBOY.
David Harbour as Hellboy.
Columbia Pictures

It’s not looking good for the Hellboy reboot. Lionsgate had modest box office expectations for the superhero flick starring David Harbour (Stranger Things) and it couldn’t even meet them, reports Box Office Mojo.

The adaptation of Mike Mignola’s 25-year-old comics franchise scraped together $12 million in its opening weekend, short of the $17 to $20 million that Lionsgate had hoped for. Making matters worse, the opening audience was right in Lionsgate’s wheelhouse — predominantly male, 25 years and up — and exit polls from them scored it a meh-to-middling C.

Critics turn up their noses to popular moneymakers all the time, particularly within the superhero genre, but when the fanbase is unimpressed and the dollar votes much less so, that’s feedback that producers can’t ignore.

Harbour and director Neil Marshall were following tough acts — Guillermo del Toro directed the 2004 film and its 2008 sequel, and Ron Perlman’s on-the-button portrayal of the cigar-chomping demon made him a fan favorite. Our review noted that Hellboy and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army “nailed the characters and tone,” where the new film “does exactly the opposite, favoring references and set pieces over character and tone, and suffers for it.”

Hellboy was a distant third to Shazam!, which repeated as No. 1 this week, and Little, an age-swap comedy from Legendary and Universal. So far, the top grossing movie of 2019 is Captain Marvel, which launched March 8 and has done $386 million domestically. But that’s about to be obliterated by the April 26 premiere of Avengers: Endgame.