A few days ago, the site We Got This Covered reported that Netflix was planning a “bloody and mature” ‘Hellboy’ series in another attempt to revive the brand, following the recent disaster of a film reboot. But Mike Mignola, the creator of the ‘Hellboy’ comic book series quickly shot that rumor down, declaring:
“As far as we know this is not true…”
As far as we know this is not true…
— Mike Mignola (@artofmmignola) May 25, 2019
The new ‘Hellboy’ movie opened on April 12th and came in third behind ‘Shazam!’ in its second weekend, and the comedy ‘Little’. The reboot was directed by Neil Marshall, and starred David Harbour in the title role, and made only $12 million dollars during its opening weekend, and a grand total of $28M by the end of its domestic theatrical run. With foreign ticket sales, it made a total of $40M, but its production budget was reported to be $50M, not counting promotion and advertising.
Audiences hated it, giving it a C through tracking service CinemaScore, and 2½ stars out of 5 through PostTrak. Critics hated it even worse, with it resting at a dismal 16% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Guillermo del Toro directed the first two ‘Hellboy’ movies, which were released in 2004 and 2008, but the new film was a reboot that ignored those. del Toro’s ‘Hellboy’s are cult classics, with a devoted following, even though neither was a massive hit at the time. But at least they didn’t lose money.
It appears that Lionsgate was attempting to cash in on the current superhero craze at the multiplex, but ‘Hellboy’ may have been too niche a property. As Mignola himself recently stated:
“The ‘Hellboy’ stuff is pretty odd and I would have thought too odd for a larger audience—But these days I see a lot of odd stuff out there. The success of something like ‘Umbrella Academy’ certainly gives me hope.”
There’s also the matter of the two del Toro pictures, which, as I said, are cult classics with a devoted following. By not tying this version to them, and by bringing in a new director and star, those diehards were alienated and stayed away. (Hollywood makes this mistake a LOT.)
So for now, it looks like ‘Hellboy’ is going back into storage, which is honestly for the best. Maybe at some point, the public will be ready for a new spin, but for now, fans can still enjoy the first two movies and the comics.
What do you think? Would a ‘Hellboy’ series on Netflix work better than the recent movie did?