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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘HELLBOY – Chock-Full of Gobs of Gore, But Not Much Else’

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Rebooting any film is tricky. Doing so barely a decade after the last iteration makes it more so. 2019’s Hellboy is a prime example of “Why is this happening?” movie making. Both the original film (2004) and its sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) were generally well liked by audiences and critics (81% and 86% respectively on Rotten Tomatoes with audiences scores of 66% and 71%). Were they overwhelmingly successful? Not exactly.

That lack of financial boom made the prospect of Guillermo del Toro getting to finish his trilogy an uphill battle. It should’ve also signaled, though, that perhaps the character wasn’t destined for box office glory. Even in comic book circles, Hellboy is niche. Thus, doing the property again with a fresh coat of paint seemed like an odd choice.

Hellboy (2019) was one of the season’s biggest flops. Grossing just over $40 million worldwide, its only saving grace was its modest budget of $50 million. In its opening weekend, it lost out to Little, a comedy about a kid cursing an a-hole adult with the ineptitude of childhood. Woof.

To say that proximity is alone culpable for these dismal receipts would be misleading. Hellboy is awash with problems. From an overstuffed script to heaps and hunks of tasteless gore, it’s a movie that never seems to know what it wants to be or what story it wants to tell. And with a Tomatometer well below del Toro’s versions, just 18%, any viewers curious about it were probably scared off.

It doesn’t help that even before it hit screens, an article was published by The Wrap detailing all the behind-the-scenes drama that had plagued its production.

All that said, there is some fun to be had with this film, especially if you’re a devout fan of the character or you’re on team Chief Hopper (David Harbour has a blast with this role). So sit back, grab a Helltown Mischievous Brown Ale, and enjoy as I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), and Capt. Cash throw down with sociopath Bebop and help save a kidnapped baby from a group of nefarious fairies!

This Weeks Segments:

  • Introduction – We get dragged to Hell as we discuss all the issues with the Right Hand of Doom’s return. (00:00)
  • “Am I full of s**t or not?” – Capt. Cash attempts to debunk or confirm facts I discovered while investigating the interwebs. (33:58)
  • Who Played It Best? – In a world rife with rebooted Superhero films, we assess who played a role the best (50:07).
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks of the week. Spoiler: It’s Amazon’s The Boys. Go and watch it now. No really. What are you waiting for? (1:04:57)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter (@HopsandBOFlops) to check out all the interesting factoids—The Wrap‘s stinging summation of the on-set discord and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops, as always, on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!

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Thomas L. Kelly

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