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‘Hellboy’ Reboot Summons $1.3 Million at Thursday Box Office

Lionsgate’s R-rated superhero film opens opposite ”Little,“ ”Missing Link“ and second weekend for ”Shazam!“

“Hellboy,” Lionsgate’s gory, R-rated reboot of the demonic comic book character, made $1.38 million at the box office in its Thursday night previews from over 2,700 screens. It opens on 3,303 screens this weekend.

It is one of four films releasing wide this weekend, and all of them are going up against DC’s “Shazam!,” which heads into its second weekend after a $56.8 million domestic opening. “Shazam!” made another $2.3 million Thursday, bringing its cumulative domestic total to $69.7 million.

Also opening this weekend are the comedy “Little” starring Regina Hall, Issa Rae and Marsai Martin from Universal, “Missing Link,” the stop-motion animated family movie from United Artists and Laika, and “After,” a romance based on Anna Todd’s novel from Aviron Pictures.

“Hellboy” is projected for an opening between $17-20 million, with the studio expecting closer to the mid-teens range, which would be lower than the original “Hellboy” films from director Guillermo del Toro. The first “Hellboy” grossed $23 million in its opening weekend in 2004, and its sequel, “The Golden Army,” made $34.5 million in its opening.

Rather than the similarly R-rated superhero movie “Deadpool,” a better comparison for the new “Hellboy” is the most recent and last film in the “Resident Evil” franchise, which also stars “Hellboy’s” Milla Jovovich. The similarly budgeted “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” opened to $13.6 million domestically in its January 2017 release after making $1 million in its Thursday box office previews.

Neil Marshall directs the film in which David Harbour stars as the demonic hero Hellboy as he’s forced to take on the Blood Queen (Jovovich), an undead sorceress bent on destroying the world. Ian McShane also stars, and the film has just a 12% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Little” earned $735,000 in its Thursday previews from 2,200 screens, and it is looking at an opening in the mid-teens against a $20 million budget. It opens this weekend on 2,667 screens. By comparison, “What Men Want” from earlier this year, which was also produced by Will Packer, made $1.25 million in its Thursday box office previews and opened to $18.2 million.

“Little” is a new take on the body-swap comedy in which Regina Hall plays a ruthless tech mogul who is transformed into a 13-year-old girl, as played by “Black-ish” star Marsai Martin. Unable to lead her company, she must rely on her beleaguered assistant (Issa Rae), who doubles as both her replacement at the company and new legal guardian. Tina Gordon Chism directed from a script she co-wrote with Tracy Oliver, with Will Packer and Kenya Barris producing. It has a 52% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Missing Link” is the fifth film for the stop-motion animation studio Laika, and it’s projected for a $10 million opening. The previous Laika film, “Kubo and the Two Strings,” made $515,000 from Thursday night previews and went on to gross $12.6 million in its opening weekend, finishing fourth at the box office during August 2016.

Hugh Jackman and Zoe Saldana voice two adventurers who discover the Sasquatch (Zach Galifianakis) in the Pacific Northwest and agree to help it locate other creatures like him by traveling to find the Yeti in the Himalayas. Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson and Timothy Olyphant also star in the film written and directed by Chris Butler. It has an 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes.