The Hellboy reboot is finishing up its dismal run in theaters and David Harbour is freely talking about problems the film had.
Lionsgate and Neil Marshall’s Hellboy movie is coming and going from theaters in the US after only about two months, and not doing so hot — well below anybody’s expectations. Star David Harbour is talked candidly in an interview with Digital Spy about what went wrong while standing by his work.
He blames the multitude of “voices” (producers) trying to get their two cents into a hectic creative process:
"“We did our best, but there’s so many voices that go into these things and they’re not always going to work out. I did what I could do and I feel proud of what I did, but ultimately I’m not in control of a lot of those things.”"
Harbour also feels that his Hellboy has merits that suffer through comparisons in a world dominated and terraformed by Marvel. Hellboy, a Dark Horse comic, is a much different flavor, he says:
"“The problem that I have with comic book movies nowadays is that I think, and it’s a result of the power of Marvel stuff, it’s like chocolate, it’s a flavor. And I sort of want a world where there’s more flavors than just comparisons to chocolate. So in that way when Hellboy is viewed on the chocolate spectrum, it does very poorly.”"
“Very poorly” is right. Hellboy made a paltry $12 million in its opening weekend. Up against Shazam!, Captain Marvel, and even Dumbo that might not be too surprising. But when taking into account projections targeting a total in the range of $14 – $17 million ($20 million at the highest), that’s pretty bad. It only managed to make a total of $21.9 million during its domestic theatrical run, which is not much more than its opening haul.
Hellboy‘s box-office performance looks all the worse up against the $50 million budget. A budget like that is not as massive by today’s superhero blockbuster standards but the disparity is abysmal. Turning in an added $18 million internationally, it’s apparent the film did not break even, declaring it a true flop.
To that end, Harbour further pointed the finger at Marvel comparisons, adding:
"“And I think it was unfairly bludgeoned as a result of these comparisons.”"
Reviews hammer the story and special effects but almost unanimously laud Harbour for being the one bright spot holding stuff together. Playing up what he liked about his work in it, he went on to say the movie “has major problems,” but could be enjoyed as a rental or on an airplane in the right frame of mind, looking for a fun movie.
Harbour sounds like he thinks Hellboy could earn cult status after all is said and done, a position shared by co-star Milla Jovovich.