Why “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” May Be DOA this Weekend


“Shazam: Fury of the Gods” is expected to take the box office crown from “Scream VI” when the superhero sequel opens in theaters over the weekend. But we don’t expect Billy Batson and company to break any DC franchise records.


The “Shazam” sequel is aiming to collect a so-so $35 million to $40 million from 4,000 North American cinemas between Friday and Sunday, based on early estimates. Unless the Warner Bros. film seriously crushes expectations, inaugural ticket sales will fall significantly short of its pre-pandemic predecessor, 2019’s “Shazam.” The first film, which introduced the world to Zachary Levi’s comic book character who becomes a hero by saying the magic word “Shazam,” opened to $53.5 million and ended its box office run with $140 million domestically and $366 million globally.



Like the original, the sequel cost $100 million to produce. That’s a lot of money, of course, but it’s significantly less than recent DC installments like “Black Adam” and “The Suicide Squad,” which carried price tags between $185 million and $200 million and thus required a lot more coinage to turn a profit. For different reasons — “The Suicide Squad” was released simultaneously on HBO Max amid the pandemic and “Black Adam” was poorly received — both of those movies disappointed in their box office runs.


By comparison, “Black Adam” opened to $67 million last October before tapping out with $168 million in North America and $392 million worldwide. There was one bright spot for DC in between those releases: Robert Pattinson’s “The Batman” impressed with its $134 million debut last March and ultimately earned $369 million domestically and $770 million globally.


Director David F. Sandberg said this week that he has not had any conversations with the studio about more Shazam films. In an interview with UPROXX, Sandberg revealed that he had yet to discuss any future movies with James Gunn or co-CEO Peter Safran, dismissing it as the men having very busy schedules (Gunn has plenty of time for Twitter). That’s not promising and we don’t expect the sequel to set any records either.


This might explain why Warner Bros. doesn’t seem to be investing much in promoting the movie. There’s also the “woke” identity politics it’s emphasizing that we just learned about, so this sequel doesn’t appear to have much going for it. Too bad. The first one was actually quite likeable.


This franchise is likely DOA.


via Variety

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Meghan Murphy

Geeking out through mental illness. Mom. Wife. Freelance writer. Pear shaped. I espouse very strong opinions on comic books and popular culture. If your wisdom is "conventional," it's probably wrong.