Several studios took their last best shots at the box office before Avengers: Endgame kicks off the summer season a week early at the end of the month, but most ended up shooting blanks. With four new wide releases this weekend, Shazam! hung on to the top spot, ending the weekend with $25 million. That gives the film $95 million after 10 days, but the film had already doubled its production budget after worldwide grosses of over $200 million heading into Saturday. It’s not going to be a Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel sized hit, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s likely to more than triple its budget before it’s all said and done, so consider this a success for Warner Brothers.
The surprise number two film this weekend, however, was Little, the body-swapping comedy directed by (Tina Gordon Chism) and starring black women (Regina Hall, Issa Rae, and Marsai Martin). Basically, the movie is Big in reverse, and the pic put up $15.5 million on only a $20 million budget thanks to a strong Cinemascore for a comedy (B+). While reviews were not stellar (48 percent), they weren’t bad enough to sink the film, either, and with a few weeks of runway with little-to-no competition, Little could be a sleeper hit for Universal.
The news wasn’t so good for Lionsgate’s Hellboy, which had to whither dreadful reviews (15 percent), a C Cinemascore, and fans who weren’t that enthused to see a Hellboy entry without Guillermo del Toro behind the camera. The pic ended the weekend with $12.3 million, significantly behind both the original Hellboy’s opening ($23 million) and that of the sequel ($34 million). The good news here is that it only cost $50 million and it could still make up the difference in overseas receipts.
Hellboy wasn’t the only new release to strike out this weekend, however. Laika’s Missing Link opened at number nine with only $5.8 million, despite great reviews (89 percent) and pretty decent B+ Cinemascore. It’s the lowest opening ever for Laika. I’m not sure what went wrong with this tone — it looks delightful — but I suspect that audiences aren’t that enthusiastic about stop-motion films, or parents are keeping it in reserve to give them something to do over Spring Break.
It was something of a mixed bag for After, the teen romance based on a YA novel that began as One Direction fanfic (seriously). It earned $6.25 million, which isn’t out of this world, but then again, it only opened in 2,000 theaters and cost only $14 million to produce. Critics hated it (13 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences like it well enough (a B Cinemascore). On the plus side for Aviron, the film is apparently crushing it in several overseas markets.
Holdovers occupied all positions in the rest of the top ten. Pet Sematary fell a steep 59 percent, although it still turned in a respectable $10 million in its second weekend to bring its total to $41 million. That’s not bad for a horror film that only cost $20 million to produce. Tim Burton’s Dumbo is hanging in there, too, adding $8.5 million to its tally to bring it to $89.5 million after three weeks, plus over $150 million overseas. $250 million in worldwide grosses, however, is not going to cut it for a film that cost $170 million to produce.
With $8 million, Captain Marvel is still on pace to cross the $400 million mark after hitting $386 million, meaning the $409 million of Iron Man 3 is still in its sights. With $6.6 million, Jordan Peele’s Us is slowing, although with $163 million, it’s only $9 million short of Get Out. Finally, in at number ten, Best of Enemies added $2 million to bring its two-week total to $8.1 million.
Next weekend — and the rest of the month, until Endgame arrives — looks fairly barren. On Wednesday, Breakthrough, a faith-based film starring Topher Grace and Chrissy Metz, will open against Penguins, a Disney nature documentary. Meanwhile, the horror pic, The Curse of La Llorona — the sixth film in the Conjuring universe — opens in 3,400 theaters on Friday.