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.