Remember that big, fancy R-rated Hellboy reboot that came out last month? If not, nobody would blame you for categorizing that as an afterthought, given the tepid response. Case in point, it’s already out of theaters and it has officially ended its run at the domestic box office with absolutely disastrous results. Even when factoring in the international haul, the numbers aren’t pretty and the movie won’t even manage to make back its production budget. Lionsgate is going to take a bath on this one.
Lionsgate has officially pulled the plug on Hellboy after just five weeks at the domestic box office. The R-rated reboot from director Neil Marshall (The Descent) grossed just $21.9 million total, after opening with just $12 million on its opening weekend back in April. Considering that the movie came with a $50 million reported production budget, those are really ugly numbers. Granted, $50 million is a great deal cheaper than many comic book movies these days, but still, at that price level, $20 million just isn’t going to cut it.
Occasionally, with a movie such as this, foreign box office can help bail out the studio. Not this time. Total, in all international markets thus far, Hellboy has taken in just $18.1 million. That brings its total to $40 million globally. Safe to say, this is nothing short of a disaster for Lionsgate, who are already very short of franchises right now and have suffered a string of bombs, including last year’s very expensive Robin Hood, which also arrived with a thud. Unfortunately, Stranger Things star David Harbour is going to have to wait until something else comes along to lead his very own franchise. Many would probably argue Harbour deserved better.
When this reboot was first announced, quite a few were sad that Guillermo del Toro wasn’t going to be able to make his long-discussed Hellboy 3 with star Ron Perlman, to finish what they started back in 2004. The studio felt a reboot would be the better way to go and they were trying to emulate what Deadpool had managed to do just a few years back. For what it’s worth, del Toro’s first Hellboy grossed $99 million worldwide, working from a $66 million budget. It’s also worth mentioning that DVD/Blu-ray sales were a bit more potent back then. His heralded sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army, though not necessarily a hit, grossed $160.3 million working from an $85 million production budget.
It’s well worth mentioning that the production of this movie was reportedly contentious and problematic. That rarely is conducive to making a good movie. Critics also responded not-so-kindly, as it holds an abysmal 16 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Maybe someone else will try to bring Big Red back in a few years? But for now at least, this proved to be a gloriously failed experiment. Figures used in this report were provided by The Numbers.