Hellboy Hot, Home in Range

Despite the lack of bankable stars, Sony Pictures and Revolution Studios’ CG-heavy, supernatural action flick, Hellboy, proved that an obscure comic book series can translate to box office bang. Though modest for a big effects film, the movie’s estimated take of $23.5 million was more than enough to put it in the top spot over the weekend. Meanwhile, back on the ranch, Disney’s animated knee-slapper Home on the Range showed that it could hang with The Rock and Scooby-Doo.

Featuring visual effects by Tippett Studio, The Orphanage, CafeFX, Hatch FX, Spectral Motion, Eden FX, Fantasy II, DDT Efectos Especiales, HimAnI Prods. and The Pit Crew, Hellboy stars Ron Perlman as a demon conjured up by Nazis at the end of WWII. He is rescued by American forces and is raised to be a paranormal investigator who fights monsters with help from some friends and his fist of granite. Guillermo del Toro (Blade II, Mimic, Cronos) directed the adaptation of Mike Mignola’s comic creation.

Coming in at No. 2 is MGM’s remake of Walking Tall starring wrestler-turned-thespian Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The actioner based on a true story brought in around $15.3 million, putting it just barely ahead of Warner Bros.’ Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed ($15 million) in preliminary reporting.

Snagging a close fourth place was Home on the Range which wrangled up an estimated $14 million. Will Finn and John Sanford directed the animated Western musical starring the voices of Roseanne, Dame Judy Dench and Jennifer Tilly as a trio of dairy cows out to save the farm by becoming bounty hunters. The toon fared better than Paramount’s tween-targeted romance The Prince and I, which rounds out the top five with around $10 million.

Read about the making of both Home on the Range and Hellboy in the April issue of Animation Magazine.