BOX OFFICE: SHAZAM! Leads Another Disappointing Weekend as HELLBOY Bombs!

Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Recap!
It was another pathetically sad weekend at the box office as most of the new movies failed to meet even their lowest expectations. Only one movie made more than $20 million this weekend, and all but one returning movie dropped 50% or more from last weekend.  What is going on, North America? Did you actually find better things to do than go to the movies this weekend? (At least on the East Coast, weather was super nice on Saturday and Sunday, possibly contributing to the lack of moviegoers. Bad reviews also didn’t help matters.)
As it happens, New Line’s Shazam! remained #1 for a second weekend in a row with $25.1 million, down 53% from its opening weekend and bringing its total to $94.9 million.  With the $163.9 million grossed overseas, including $35.9 million this weekend, Shazam! has probably already made back its $100 million production budget before Avengers: Endgame  opens in two weeks.
In second place was Universal’s Little, the latest from Will Packer Productions and a twist on Tom Hanks‘ Big, this one starring Regina Hall, Issa Rae and Marsai Martin. The high concept body-switching comedy actually fared decently compared to other movies, opening with $15.5 million in 2,687 theaters with a per-theater average just slightly behind that of Shazam!  That’s only slightly less than my own $16.5 million prediction on Wednesday.
What was expected to be the biggest movie of the weekend, Lionsgate’s Hellboy, starring David Harbour, Ian McShane and Sasha Lane, ended up bombing even worse than expected, opening in third place with an estimated $12 million in 3,639 theaters. That’s just $3,638 per theater, which is abysmal and worse than most projections, but it wasn’t helped by its 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which wasn’t even the worst for the weekend. Audiences didn’t think much better of the movie than critics, giving Hellboy a “C” rating on CinemaScore.
Paramount’s Pet Sematary remake dropped to fourth place with an estimated $10 million, down 59%, not surprising based on its low CinemaScore last week. It has grossed $41.1 million so far, but with a $21 million production budget and $35 million grossed overseas, it should prove to be profitable.
Tim Burton‘s Dumbo was #5 with $9.2 million, down 50%, but that looks like it’s on its way to $100 million with $89.9 million made in its first three weeks. Dumbo has made another $177 million overseas to bring its global total to $258.8 million.
Marvel’s Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, the only movie to not have a drastic drop from last weekend, took in $8.6 million in its sixth weekend, down just 31%. It’s closing in on $400 million domestic with $386.5 million, but it’s going to need a push with Avengers: Endgame opening in two weeks. With a billion grossed globally, Captain Marvel is going into the summer season as the highest-grossing movie with nothing even close to competition.
Jordan Peele‘s Us took another 50% hit in its fourth weekend with $6.9 million for seventh place, but with a production budget of $20 million, its $163.5 million domestic gross signifies all profit at this point.
One of the movies that fared slightly better than my earlier prediction was Aviron’s After, based on the fan fiction by Anna Todd.  It actually opened well with $2.9 million on Friday (including $550,000 in Thursday previews), but it also fell drastically on Saturday to end up with just $6.2 million in 2,138 theaters.  That’s $2,900 per theater — not great, but also not terrible for a movie with no name stars or much marketing. It received a “B” CinemaScore, while reviews were worse than those for Hellboy.
Bombing even worse than Hellboy this weekend was LAIKA Studio’s latest stop-motion animated film Missing Link, released by United Artists Releasing into 3,413 theaters on Friday. Despite being in more theaters than the other releases and having better reviews, it absolutely tanked with just $5.8 million or $1,712 per theater. That’s the lowest opening for LAIKA, who previous found much success by partnering with Focus Features. It’s also less than half what I predicted, showing that you can’t just release a family movie into a market with little competition and still expect it to do decent business. The movie’s “B+” CinemaScore might help it bring in business via word-of-mouth, especially next weekend with schools out for Good Friday.
Of the limited releases, Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell, starring Elisabeth Moss, did the best per-theater, averaging $13,000 in three theaters to open with $39,000. Max Minghella’s directorial debut Teen Spirit, starring Elle Fanning, did slightly less per-theater to make $44,000 in four theaters in New York and L.A.

This Week’s Top 10:

Rank Last Week Rank Movie Studio Weekend Gross % Change Total Gross
1 1 Shazam! New Line /WB $25.1 million -53% $94.9 million
2 New Little Universal $15.5 million N/A $15.5 million
3 New Hellboy Lionsgate $12 million N/A $12 million
4 2 Pet Sematary Paramount $10 million -59% $41.1 million
5 3 Dumbo Disney $9.2 million -50% $89.9 million
6 5 Captain Marvel Marvel/Disney $8.6 million -31% $386.5 million
7 4 Us Universal $6.9 million -40% $163.5 million
8 New After Aviron $6.2 million N/A $6.2 million
9 New Missing Link UA Releasing $5.8 million N/A $5.8 million
10 6 The Best of Enemies STXfilms $2 million -55% $8.1 million

The estimated $101 million grossed by the top 10 this weekend was down about $11 million from the same weekend last year when the sequel Pacific Rim: Uprising topped the box office with $26.8 million, finally knocking Black Panther out of the #1 spot after five weekends. Paramount’s animated Sherlock Gnomes opened in third place with $13.8 million.
Check back on Wednesday for The Beat‘s Box Office Preview of next weekend, which includes the horror film The Curse of La Llorona from New Line and the faith-based drama Breakthrough from Fox.


  1. The second Hellboy movie was a financial disappointment. No idea why anyone thought a third one would be a hit. Maybe the studio needed to crank one out to hold on to the rights?

  2. The couple of animated films they made later were pretty good.
    Also got a chance to watch the Screw-On Head animated recently, that is much closer to Mignola’s style, I wish they would adapt Hellboy and BPRD books that way.

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