Box Office: 'Hellboy' Earns $1.4M in Previews; 'Little' Starts Off With $735K

Hellboy and Little Split - Publicity-H 2019
Lionsgate; Universal Pictures

Holdover 'Shazam!' — which earned another $2.3 million on Thursday — is expected to stay atop the chart in its second weekend.

Lionsgate and Millennium's Hellboy started off its North American box office run with $1.4 million in Thursday evening previews.

The reboot is tracking for a domestic debut in the $16 million-$20 million range. However, the R-rated movie is getting skewered by critics (its current Rotten Tomatoes score is 13 percent).

Rival superhero pic Shazam!, from New Line and DC, is expected to stay atop the chart in its second weekend with $20 million or more after launching to $53.5 million last weekend. The kid-friendly pic, which is rated PG-13, earned another $2.3 million on Thursday for a domestic total of $66.4 million.

Hellboy was made without the assistance of Guillermo del Toro, who directed the 2004 pic of the same name, as well as the 2008 sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Both films starred Ron Perlman.

This time, Neil Marshall had directing duties, while David Harbour (Stranger Things) stars as the titular figure, a legendary half-demon hero dispatched to England to battle a trio of rampaging giants, only to face the revenge-seeking sorceress Blood Queen Nimue (Milla Jovovich). Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim and Thomas Haden Church co-star.

Three other films open nationwide this weekend, including the Will Packer-produced Little, starring Regina Hall, Marsai Martin and Issa Rae. The comedy earned $735,000 in Thursday previews for a projected $14 million-$18 million opening.

The story follows a tech boss (Hall) who wakes up one morning as her 13-year-old self (Martin). The young actress executive produced Little after coming up with the idea for the movie, which has a 51 percent Rotten Tomatoes ranking.

Laika's latest animated feature, Missing Link, is expected to bow in the low-teen millions for Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures and sports the best Rotten Tomatoes score of any new wide release (88 percent). The Victorian era-set, myth-centric story is voiced by Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis and Zoe Saldana.

After, a steamy college romance, is pacing to take in anywhere from $3 million to $12 million in its nationwide debut for indie distributor Aviron Pictures and Voltage. Often compared to Fifty Shades of Grey for the younger set, the pic is an adaptation of Anna Todd's best-selling novel that turned into a viral sensation after appearing on the social storytelling platform Wattpad in 2014.

Directed by Jenny Gage, After stars Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin.