Weekend Box Office (4/12-4/14): 'Little' People, Big Bucks; 'Hellboy' Has A Hell Of A Bad Opening

Two movies about people in the wrong bodies took the top of the charts, as last week’s champ ‘Shazam!’ stood strong at #1.  Zachary Levi portrays a cartoonish adult superhero that is secretly a 14-year-old boy (played by Asher Angel) inside.  Meanwhile, ‘black-ish’ star Marsai Martin sashayed into the #2 spot with the newcomer fantasy-comedy ‘Little’.  In it, adult Regina Hall portrays a cutthroat tech CEO who finds herself stuck in the body of a 14-year-old.  Add to that, the fact that Levi and Angel are Caucasian males, and Hall and Martin are African American females, and these are like Bizarro Universe duplicates of one another.


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‘Shazam!’ dropped about 53% in its sophomore weekend, earning $25.1 million.  That brings the DC picture’s total gross to $94.9M, and it should cross the $100M mark before Friday.  Those under 25 made up 60% of the audience.  That means that not only is ‘Shazam!’ clicking as a family movie, but the fickle teen market is also checking it out.

In a different sort of superhuman feat, Marsai Martin is 14 now, but pitched producer Kenya Barris on ‘Little’, an inversion of ‘Big’, when she was only 10.  She has now become the youngest person in history to act as a Hollywood movie executive producer!  ‘Little’ is also distinct in that it was directed, starring, written and executive produced by African American women. (Tina Gordon directed, with a script she co-wrote with Tracy Oliver.  Issa Rae costars.)

The film earned $15.5M for second place.  Audiences enjoyed ‘Little’, giving it a B+ via CinemaScore, and 4 stars via PostTrak.  That great word-of-mouth helped the audience grow as the weekend progressed.  Critics begged to differ, slamming it with a rotten 48% on Rotten Tomatoes.

While great word of mouth boosted ‘Little’s audience, terrible buzz banished ‘Hellboy’ to hell.  This Neil Marshall-directed reboot was expected to land at #2 going into the weekend, but audiences cursed it with a C CinemaScore, and 2½ stars on PostTrak.  Critics LOATHED it, with it sitting at a dismal 15% on Rotten Tomatoes.  (It also wasn’t screened early for critics, which is NEVER a good sign.)


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Earning just $12M, not only does it land in third for this weekend, but for all ‘Hellboy’ movies.  2004’s ‘Hellboy’ made $23.1M on its opening weekend, while ‘Hellboy: The Golden Army’ opened to $35.9M in 2008.  Audiences liked them better, too, giving the first movie a B- CinemaScore, and ‘The Golden Army’ a B.

While the first two movies, directed by Guillermo del Toro, starring Ron Perlman, did decently enough and are well-liked, they weren’t huge hits.  That, plus the 11-year gap probably explains why Lionsgate decided to make this ‘Hellboy’ a complete reboot.  However, it doesn’t seem like the previous movies are so old that they are forgotten, as some have expressed confusion as to why this isn’t a direct sequel, and why it is not directed by del Toro and doesn’t star Perlman.

Plus… I mean, it’s just a bad movie.

But with a modest $50M budget, it may do okay, if it takes off abroad.


  1. Shazam! (New Line/Warner Brothers) – $25.1M
  2. Little (Universal) – $15.5M
  3. Hellboy (Lionsgate) – $12M
  4. Pet Sematary (Paramount) – $10M
  5. Dumbo (Disney) – $9.1M

Laika’s latest stop-motion animated picture, ‘Missing Link’ is a flop, earning just $5.8M.  It’s a shame because critics loved it– 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Sadly, this follows the trend of Laika’s movies, which get great reviews but don’t do well.  See their last release, ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’.

Unlike in years past, most studios are steering clear of Easter weekend.  Typically studios jump on this date to unleash major tentpoles, but everyone is steering clear of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ a week later.  If a big flick were to open next weekend, it would see its second-weekend destroyed by the Marvel powerhouse, which has the fastest-pre-sales of any movie ever.  So no one is taking that chance.

Perhaps the biggest movie arriving is the low-budget horror pic ‘The Curse of La Llorona’, part of ‘The Conjuring’ universe.  Another thriller, the oft-delayed ‘Under the Silver Lake’ will also finally arrive.

With ‘Missing Link’ out of the way, there are two other movies that may appeal to the family crowd– Disney’s documentary ‘Penguins’, and the faith-based ‘Breakthrough’.

While Easter weekend is traditionally big at the box office, without any major new releases, people may opt to just do something else.  Positive word of mouth will likely keep ‘Shazam!’ and ‘Little’ afloat, but expect the grosses for the entire weekend to be down.


Source: Deadline