LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Warner Bros.’ superhero adventure “Shazam!” took a victory lap at the domestic box office, retaining the No. 1 spot for the second weekend in a row.
“Shazam!” added another $25 million in its sophomore outing, bringing its North American haul to $94 million. That sum was easily enough to top a crop of newcomers including Universal’s comedy “Little,” Lionsgate’s remake of “Hellboy,” and Lakai’s stop-motion animation “Missing Link.”
While “Shazam!” continued to entice comic-book fans, “Hellboy” wasn’t as fortunate. The R-rated fantasy film, based on Mike Mignola’s graphic novel, debuted below expectations with $12 million from 3,303 locations. Neil Marshall directed the reboot of “Hellboy,” which sees “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour assume the role of the red-skinned superhero. The movie was skewered by critics and audiences alike. It holds an abysmal 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a disappointing C CinemaScore.
Males accounted for 56 percent of opening weekend crowds for “Hellboy,” while 64 percent of moviegoers were over the age of 25. Lionsgate acquired U.S. and U.K. rights to “Hellboy” from Millennium Media, which financed the film. Guillermo del Toro, who directed the original two “Hellboy” movies starring Ron Perlman, was not involved with the most recent adaptation.
Ticket sales for “Hellboy” weren’t enough to secure it second place on box office charts. That honor went to “Little,” a body-swap comedy about a tech mogul (Regina Hall) who transforms back into the 13-year-old version of herself (Marsai Martin) just before a major work presentation. Despite mixed reviews, it generated a solid $15 million when it launched in 2,667 locations. Universal spent $20 million to produce “Little.” Martin, who came up with the premise of the movie, serves as the youngest executive producer of all time.
“Little” pulled in a mostly older female audience, with women accounting for 65 percent of ticket buyers and 56 percent over the age of 25. African Americans made up 43 percent of crowds, while 28 percent were Caucasian and 21 percent were Hispanic. Will Packer, known for his work on “Girls Trip,” “Night School,” and the “Ride Along” franchise, produced the PG-13 comedy, which was directed by Tina Gordon.
Meanwhile, “Missing Link” struggled to draw in audiences, faltering with $5.8 million when it opened on 3,413 screens. Although it received some of the best reception among new releases — it has an 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ CinemaScore — the stop-motion animated adventure just barely cracked the top 10 in its debut.
From Laika, the studio behind “Coraline” and “ParaNorman,” “Missing Link” follows a myths and monsters investigator who sets off to prove the existence of a mythical creature called Mr. Link. Directed by Chris Butler, the voice cast of “Missing Link” includes Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana and Emma Thompson.
This weekend’s final fresh offering “After,” a YA romantic drama launched in eighth place with $6.2 million from 2,138 theaters.