Hellboy Finds Box Office Heaven

Hellboy debuts with $23.5 million; Walking Tall lags far behind.
LOS ANGELES -- A wisecracking demon from hell took down The Rock for the weekend's box-office title.

Hellboy, starring Ron Perlman as the comic-book superhero with red skin, horns and a tail, debuted as the top flick with $23.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Walking Tall, a remake of the 1973 vigilante-justice tale featuring The Rock, a wrestler-turned-actor, opened in second place with $15.3 million.

The previous weekend's top movie, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, fell to No. 3 with $15.1 million, lifting its 10-day total to $50 million.

A cult attraction compared to better-known comic books such as Spider-Man and X-Men, Hellboy managed to draw a broad audience with its mix of dark humor and nonstop action.

Mr. Perlman plays a demon raised by a loving adopted father (John Hurt), who grooms the hero to work for a government paranormal bureau disguised as a waste- management operation.

The movie presents a working-class hero fighting for good despite his demonic pedigree and wistful longing for the affection of a beautiful colleague ( Selma Blair).

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EarthsMightiestAdmin
4/4/2004
Associated Press

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