Sometimes, a barrage of bad reviews can do little to dent the opening of a blockbuster film — just look at the vicious critical reaction to Batman v Superman and its initially-impressive take at the box office. But it seems like Hellboy, fresh off of a critical drubbing, couldn’t escape the level of hell Anung Un Rama was first summoned from.
Deadline reports that Neil Marshall’s Hellboy took in just $17 million dollars in its opening weekend, significantly lower than either Guillermo Del Toro-directed takes on Mike Mignola’s beloved supernatural hero. It fact, it was more than 60 per cent down from the series’ high with Hellboy 2: The Golden Army back in 2008.
Hellboy’s opening weekend box office is just shy of half of Shazam’s take for its second weekend in theatres, which pulled in $35 million, setting the whimsical DC movie on the road to $140 million domestically by Easter. Internationally, the film fared a little worse, bringing in around $14 million across the weekend.
Whether it was the lacklustre reviews, a still-lingering resentment from the absence of either Del Toro or former Hellboy star Ron Perlman in this complete reboot for the franchise, it’s a shame that Hellboy isn’t getting the comic book cinema moment the character deserves. There is a wealth of great stories out there in 25 years of source material that justice could (and should) be done to.
Hellboy took $70 million to make and will struggle to make even that back. Especially when you consider it has just one more weekend to itself before Avengers: Endgame causally strolls in, stomps the box office to the ground, sets it on fire, and then dances a merry jig atop the ashes.
For now, it seems like Hellboy’s cinematic future is once again going to be in doubt. At least there’s some excellent comics to read while we wait to see what becomes of Hellboy’s movie hopes?