I'm not sure if it was bad marketing or if everyone just thought it was a sequel to the 2003 disaster. It's not a sequel...it's a reboot.
Here's this article.
Five years ago, Hulk, the first movie based on Marvel's hulking green comic book character, rang up $245 million in worldwide box office but was widely dismissed as a commercial failure.
The second attempt, The Incredible Hulk, amped up the fun factor and dialed down the brooding of director Ang Lee's original but is unlikely to gross significantly higher than its predecessor and might not spawn a sequel. And it's been dubbed a success.
"We're happy with the financial results, even if they (only) reach the first film's levels," a Marvel insider insisted. "Having a sequel is not the definition of success."[...]
After four weekends, the Louis Leterrier-directed The Incredible Hulk has earned $125 million, the same as what Hulk had pulled in at the same time in its run. Hulk finished with $132 million, and its successor is unlikely to do much better.
Its foreign rollout is still in progress, with comics-friendly Japan among the territories the remake has yet to bow, but it appears likely that the Edward Norton starrer will struggle to reach $130 million internationally. The first film tallied $113.2 million overseas.
Action films tend to outperform internationally, though comic book adaptations can be a different matter if the fan base skews American. Marvel touts the Hulk comic franchise as its second most popular worldwide, after Spider-Man.
"All we can say as a studio is that we are very pleased with the result," Universal domestic distribution president Nikki Rocco said.