Let’s face it, when it comes to big-time movie sequels, pretty much everyone who wasn’t a diehard fan of Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s first “Hellboy” was a little shocked that a sequel had been greenlit — and with mega bucks for the production to boot. Well, it looks like Universal’s decision to give del Toro an additional $85 million to make his comic book sequel has paid off. The movie, about a red-skinned creature name Hellboy who fights evil and other supernatural menaces, earned $36 million at the box office in its opening week, easily trouncing its fellow weekend debuters, the Brendan Fraser family sci-fi comedy “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and the latest Eddie Murphy travesty, “Meet Dave”.
While “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” easily won the week, exceeding industry expectations and besting the original’s first week take (the 2004 original barely scratched out $60 million at the domestic box office), Murphy’s “Meet Dave” could barley scratch out a meager $5 million in its debut, yet another stinging rebuke of the man who once ruled the box office with his charm and comedy and yuk yuks. Apparently, the only people who still cares about Murphy’s brand of yuk yuks have lone since gone, or maybe they just grew up. Either/or. Meanwhile, Brendan Fraser’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth” pulled in $20.5 million in its debut. Not bad for a movie budgeted at $60 million, and without nearly the heavy advertising of “Hellboy II”.
But wait, what about “Hancock”? Have no fear, Will Smith fans. Even with some of the worst reviews he’s ever gotten still reverberating around palatial mansion, Smith’s “Hancock” only slipped one place to #2, with a second-week take of $33 million. If that doesn’t sound too impressive for a Will Smith Summer Event film, consider that the movie has since made $165 in the U.S. alone, with another $180 in overseas markets. The worst reviewed movie of his career or not, Smith is still gold at the box office. What does this mean for quality Summer Event films starring one Will Smith? I have no idea, but it doesn’t exactly have me brimming with confidence.
Here’s how the box office broke down over the weekend (via):
1 —–Hellboy II: The Golden Army —–$35,885,000 —–$35,885,000
2 —–Hancock —–$33,000,000 —–$165,034,000
3 —–Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D —–$20,580,000 —–$20,580,000
4 —–Wall-E —–$18,509,000 —–$162,772,000
5 —–Wanted —–$11,586,000 —–$112,045,000
6 —–Get Smart —–$7,105,000 —–$111,468,000
7 —–Meet Dave —–$5,300,000 —– $60
8 —–Kung Fu Panda —–$4,300,000 —–$202,043,000
9 —–Kit Kittredge: An American Girl —– $2,357,000 —–$11,046,000
10 —–Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull —–$2,250,000—–$310,477,000