Hellboy II: The Golden Army stormed onto approximately 4,400 screens at 3,204 theaters and grossed an estimated $35.9 million over the weekend, a significant bump over its predecessor’s $23.1 million start. That was the bar for Hellboy II’s success, but the movie also posted a greater debut than the similar comic book adventure, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which opened on the same date five years ago.
Oh no you didn’t Box Office Mojo! At any rate the good reviews and good debut cement Guillermo del Toro’s place as a filmmaker who can open a movie, and sets the scene for the hobbits very nicely. Nikki FInke praised the canny marketing for the film:
Obviously, the studio’s uber-marketing attempt to humanize the Guillermo del Toro pic’s bizarro collection of characters from the Dark Horse comic book worked nicely. That’s why Ron Perlman as Hellboy did promos on every NBC Uni media outlet imaginable. (Even on cable’s Oxygen channel with Bravo’s James Lipton interviewing him…) “We wanted to make him as audience friendly and accessible as possible,” one Uni exec explained to me. The fact that Hellboy II made 50% more than the 2004 first movie’s $23.1M opening FSS is a real triumph for Universal Pictures, whose bosses Marc Shmuger, David Linde and Donna Langley swooped in and scooped up the sequel from Sony/Revolution Studios which did the original Hellboy I.