by Brad Brevet

April 11, 2019

This weekend sees four new wide releases hitting theaters, though it will be WB’s Shazam! enjoying a second go round as the weekend’s number one film. As for the week’s new releases, look for Hellboy and Little in what could be a tight race for runner-up position, while Laika’s latest, Missing Link, vies for a spot in the top five and Aviron’s After settles near the bottom of the top ten.

After a solid start last weekend, which saw Shazam! exceed industry expectations, the superhero feature is likely to take a bit of a dive this weekend, though should remain in the top spot barring an over performance from a couple of the weekend’s newcomers. We’re currently anticipating a -58% dip for a three-day around $22.5 million and a ~$92 million domestic cume by the end of the weekend.

Second place could be a tight race between Lionsgate’s R-rated adaptation of the comic book series Hellboy and Universal’s comedy Little. Industry tracking gives Hellboy the edge, as do we, but it’s a slight edge and should things tighten up heading into Sunday morning we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.

Hellboy arrives in a tough marketplace as it debuts against Shazam!‘s second weekend, not to mention competing with hype for Avengers: Endgame, which arrives in theaters in just a couple weeks. Industry expectations are for a debut anywhere from $17-20 million for the feature, but we’re struggling to go as high as $20 million, opting for a range anywhere from $14-17 million.

The R-rated adaptation of the film will debut in over 3,300 locations, and we’ve been looking at IMDb page view performance over the two weeks leading up to release against the likes of Pain & Gain ($20.2m opening), John Wick ($14.4m opening) and Kingsman: The Secret Service ($36.2m opening) and Hellboy is pacing behind all three. Critical opinion isn’t helping the film either, as it currently holds a score of 33 on Metacritic and a dismal 11% on RottenTomatoes. For the sake of comparison, both of Guillermo del Toro‘s previous Hellboy releases scored RottenTomatoes scores over 80%.

Overall, we’re going out with a forecast anticipating a debut around $16.5 million and won’t be surprised to see a fluctuation of $1 million up or down, depending mostly on word of mouth, and should things slow even further it could drop behind our next film.

Hot on Hellboy‘s heels will be the body-swap comedy Little starring Regina Hall and Marsai Martin. The pic is debuting in over 2,600 locations this weekend with the studio anticipating a debut in the low teens, though we’re expecting something a bit higher. To begin, IMDb page view performance over the two weeks leading up to release shows Little out performing Barbershop: The Next Cut ($20.2m opening) and Nobody’s Fool ($13.7m opening) over the two weeks leading up to release. Added to that, online ticket retailer Fandango.com gives Little a slight edge over Hellboy in terms of advanced ticket sales heading into the weekend. As much as we would like to go out on a limb and project a debut over $17 million, we’re attempting to keep our expectations in check and forecasting a debut around $16 million for the weekend.

Internationally, Little opens day-and-date with North America in 11 international markets, including Australia and the U.K. and Ireland, with additional markets rolling out through the summer.

In fourth, debuting in 3,413 locations, United Artists Releasing’s Missing Link is the latest stop-motion animated feature from Laika and industry expectations are right around $9-12 million. While this will be the widest debut for any Laika release, not to mention the second widest debut for any stop-motion animated title behind 2005’s Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, we’re struggling to see it deliver much more than $10 million.

IMDb page view data shows Missing Link pacing closest to 2012’s ParaNorman, which opened with $14 million, but otherwise, over the two weeks leading up to release, Missing Link is pacing behind recent Laika releases The Boxtrolls ($17.2m opening) and Kubo and the Two Strings ($12.6m opening) as well as Sherlock Gnomes, which opened with $10.6 million last March. At this time we’re anticipating a debut right at $10 million.

Rounding out the top five is Paramount’s Pet Sematary, which should dip around -60% for a three-day just under $10 million and a domestic cume topping $40 million by the end of the weekend.

Further down the list is Aviron’s After, which will open in 2,138 theaters and is expected to finish with $3-5 million based on industry sources. Comps for this title have been tough to come by, but in comparison to the likes of The Boy Next Door and 2017’s Unforgettable, those industry expectations seem spot on as we’re looking for a performance anywhere from $3-5 million.

This weekend’s forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Shazam! (4,306 theaters) – $22.5 M
  • Hellboy (3,303 theaters) – $16.5 M
  • Little (2,667 theaters) – $16.0 M
  • Missing Link (3,413 theaters) – $10.0 M
  • Pet Sematary (3,585 theaters) – $9.8 M
  • Dumbo (3,706 theaters) – $8.4 M
  • Us (2,768 theaters) – $8.3 M
  • Captain Marvel (2,975 theaters) – $7.2 M
  • After (2,138 theaters) – $4.0 M
  • The Best of Enemies (1,705 theaters) – $3.0 M

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Story first appeared at boxofficemojo.com

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