Weekend box office: Shazam! stays on top while Hellboy flops

It didn’t seem like a sure thing going into the weekend, but Shazam! managed to remain the highest-grossing movie in U.S. theaters over the weekend — and not by a small margin, either.

The Warner Bros. Pictures superhero movie dropped a mere 53% from its opening weekend, and added another $25.1 million to its domestic ticket sales. That relatively small drop — by Hollywood standards, at least — is a very good sign for the film, given the number of high-profile new releases that debuted over the weekend, including another movie based on a popular (and arguably more popular) comic book character, Hellboy.

Among those new releases, body-swapping comedy Little outpaced Hellboy to make its debut in second place. The film, which follows a tech exec who is transformed into her 13-year-old self, received just so-so reviews from critics and audiences, but is still looking like a win for Universal Pictures, which spent just $20 million making the movie.

# Title  Weekend    U.S. Total 
1. Shazam! $25.1M $94.9M
2. Little $15.4M $15.4M
3. Hellboy $12M $12M
4. Pet Sematary $10M $41.1M
5. Dumbo $9.1M $89.9M
6. Captain Marvel $8.6M $386.5M
7. Us $6.9M $163.4M
8. After $6.2M $6.2M
9. Missing Link $5.8M $5.8M
10. The Best of Enemies $2M $8.1M

In a disappointing third place, Hellboy generated just $12 million in ticket sales for its opening weekend, much less than estimates had projected for the film even when early reviews weren’t looking so good.

A reboot of the original, two-film franchise based on comic book creator Mike Mignola’s titular paranormal investigator, Hellboy was panned by both critics and general audiences. The film currently has an embarrassingly bad 15% positive review score on RottenTomatoes.com and received a “C” grade from audiences. Given that it was beat by Shazam! and Little on its opening weekend, and with Avengers: Endgame premiering soon, there doesn’t seem to be any salvation in the future for Hellboy.

Two more new releases also cracked the weekend’s top ten movies, with young-adult drama After debuting in eighth place and the latest feature from stop-motion animation studio Laika Studios, Missing Link, beginning its theatrical run in ninth place.

The two films were received quite differently by critics and audiences, with Missing Link receiving the best reviews of any of the weekend’s new releases, while After was the only film to get worse reviews than Hellboy. Meanwhile, Missing Link received a B+ grade from audiences, while After received an only slightly worse B grade.

The biggest movie to premiere in theaters this upcoming week is horror film The Curse of La Llorona, which will likely end up among the weekend’s top five films, given traditional horror movie performance. It will have a tough time challenging Shazam! for the top spot, so WB’s superhero could end up with a three-week reign before Avengers: Endgame begins what is already shaping up to be a record-breaking run.

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