‘Shazam!’ Keeps Box-Office Lead as ‘Hellboy’ Flounders
Two superheroes, both alike in not taking themselves too seriously, had very different experiences at the box office this weekend.
Warner Bros.’s “Shazam!” made $25.1 million domestically, a solid sum that kept it in first place after a strong debut last weekend.
That PG-13 film centers on a teenager (Asher Angel) who can transform into a hero with an adult body (Zachary Levi) by speaking the word “shazam.” Based on a DC Comics character, “Shazam!” has a jaunty and lighthearted tone, and its continued box-office success provides further evidence of the success of Warner Bros.’s shift away from the dark mood of “Suicide Squad” and “Justice League.”
“Shazam!” picked up an additional $35.9 million outside of North America this weekend, according to Warner Bros., which brings the film’s worldwide gross to $258.8 million. That’s more than double the roughly $100 million the movie cost to make.
But a mix of wisecracks and superpowers is no guarantee of success, as evidenced by another new movie: Lionsgate’s “Hellboy,” financed by Millennium Media.
That film, a bloody, R-rated affair with a cherry-red, semi-demonic superhero (David Harbour) at its helm, landed in third place with a dreary $12 million in North American theaters this weekend, well below analysts’ expectations. A reboot of the Guillermo del Toro movies (themselves based on comic books by Mike Mignola), the new “Hellboy” was directed by Neil Marshall, with Harbour taking over the title role from Ron Perlman. It had a production budget of $50 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
[Read the New York Times review of “Hellboy.”]
Though it keeps the unserious tone that helped del Toro’s movies develop a cult following and stand out from other superhero stories, the new “Hellboy” arrived to poor reviews from critics — it currently holds a 15 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
More successful was Universal’s “Little,” which landed in second place with $15.5 million, according to Comscore, which compiles box-office data. It had a reported production budget of around $20 million.
“Little,” a comedy directed by Tina Gordon, is like “Shazam!” in reverse: The story is about an adult C.E.O. (Regina Hall) who gets transformed into her 13-year-old self (Marsai Martin).
Paramount’s “Pet Sematary,” based on the novel by Stephen King, came in fourth place with $10 million domestically.