‘Shazam!’ slays ‘Hellboy’ reboot at the box office

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A rush of newcomers couldn’t shake “Shazam!” from the top spot, as the superhero comedy led the box office for the second straight weekend with $25.1 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Lionsgate’s “Hellboy” reboot, the animated Laika Studios release “Missing Link,” the college romance “After” and even the long-delayed “Mary Magdalene,” originally to be released by the Weinstein Co., all opened in theaters. But the strongest new release of them all was, predictably, the Will Packer-produced one: “Little.”

The body-swap comedy “Little” came in second with $15.5 million for Universal Pictures. Made for just $20 million, “Little” is just the most recent profit-maker for Packer, the “Girls Trip” producer.

The film, directed by Tina Gordon Chism, stars 14-year-old Marsai Martin as the child an abusive tech executive (Regina Hall) reverts to after a magical spell is cast on her. Martin, the “black-ish” star, also executive produced the film, the youngest ever so credited in Hollywood history.

“Little” drew a largely female (65 and African American (43%) audience. Jim Orr, Universal Pictures distribution chief, credited the cast, Chism’s direction and Packer’s overall know-how.

“He’s done it with different kinds of films. ‘Breaking In’ was a thriller, ‘Girls Trip’ was an R-rated comedy. ‘Little’ is kind of an all-ages film, PG-13 rated,'” said Orr, whose studio signed a first-look deal with Packer in 2013. “He’s a brand. And he has a great idea of what is going to be successful at the box office.”

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