April was a month of comic book adaptations, with one inevitably ruling them all.
Welcome to Winners and Losers: a feature where we look back at the past month to determine which movies proved their worth at the box office and which ended up being dead weight.
1. Avengers: Endgame // Disney
Hit of the Month
Predictably, it was Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame that was by far and away the winner of the April box office. Hitting cinemas at the end of the month, it stormed to over one billion dollars worldwide in its opening weekend, breaking several box office records in the process. At the time of writing, the film stands at $2.6 billion, edging closer to James Cameron’s Avatar ($2.78bn), but whether it can take the all-time top spot remains uncertain. Not that it matters, the film is a genuine phenomenon regardless.
2. The Curse of La Llorona // Warner Bros.
While critics were not fond of the latest entry in The Conjuring cinematic universe, The Curse of La Llorona still made a healthy profit at the box office. The film opened at number one in North America with a $26 million haul and although it plummeted quickly in the weeks that followed, it’s still managed to reach a healthy worldwide total just shy of $120 million. While this is significantly lower than all the other entries in the Conjuring series, on a budget of only $9 million it remains a solid success for Warner Bros.
3. Shazam! // Warner Bros.
Shazam! is another Warner Bros. production, although one with a slightly cloudier box office result. It earns a spot on the edge of the winners section by being a very modest financial success. On a budget of $100 million (not including advertising), the film’s worldwide gross has hit $360 million at the time of writing. It’s not a disastrous result by any means, but sits far below its peers in the comic book genre. Similarly zany super-powered comedy Ant-Man made it past the $500 million mark back in 2015, making Shazam! somewhat disappointing by comparison.
4. Hellboy // Lionsgate
Though intended to kick start another series of Hellboy films, this R-rated reboot fell flat on its face immediately upon release. Opening with a meager $12 million and a barrage of toxic reviews, the film was quickly dropped from theaters (falling 67 per cent on its second weekend and a colossal 91 per cent on its third). On a budget of $50 million plus advertising, Hellboy has crawled to a worldwide total of just $40 million, firmly putting the brakes on any future adaptations of the comic created by Mike Mignola. It’s quite a shame really because in this critic’s opinion the film was a fun watch, albeit very silly.
5. Missing Link // United Artists Releasing
Flop of the Month
Features from stop-motion animation house Laika rarely become big earners at the box office, but The Missing Link proved to be truly dismal. Opening domestically with just $5 million and a humble spot at number nine, the situation went from bad to worse when the film dropped sharply in subsequent weeks. With a global total below $25 million, the film would be a flop at Laika’s usual price tag of $60 million. However, Deadline reported that Missing Link actually cost a full $100 million, which would make it one of the biggest box office bombs of the year so far.