What happened
Director Guillermo del Toro’s sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army opens on Friday and is expected to challenge Hancock for the number one spot at the box office. But some critics believe that Hellboy II never would have made it to screens if del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth hadn’t won Oscars in 2007.

What the commentators said
Hellboy II: The Golden Army almost didn’t get made, said Borys Kit in Reuters. The first Hellboy movie that Guillermo del Toro directed “cost around $60 million and made around $60 million.” Needless to say, Columbia wasn’t interested in producing a sequel. But then del Toro’s “passion project” Pan’s Labyrinth won three Oscars, “and execs started jockeying for his next project. And what did he want to do?” Hellboy II.

Hellboy II “should be able to capitalize on del Toro’s increased Q-rating” following Oscar wins for Pan’s Labyrinth, said Edward Douglas in ComingSoon.net’s blog The Weekend Warrior. And “the announcement that he’ll be directing The Hobbit” doesn’t hurt either. But there’s a lot of competition at the box office this weekend, so it remains to be seen how much money this sequel will actually make.

Del Toro may have let the Oscar wins go to his head, said Rick Bentley in the Detroit Free Press. He does have a “masterful eye for constructing the weird and bizarre,” but “sadly, Hellboy II is visual overkill. It is like trying to see every display in the Louvre in just over two hours. There is no time to enjoy the work.” Del Toro really should have exercised “a little self control.”