‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods stumbles with $30.5 million debut | Entertainment
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods felt the fury of the market in its theatrical debut this weekend. The New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. superhero film opened Sunday for a disappointing $30.5 million in 4,071 theaters, according to the studio’s estimates.
The “Shazam!” The sequel failed to live up to modest expectations ($35 million) as well as the first film in the series ($53.5 million as of April 2019) and earned a place at the bottom end of modern DC Comics film starts between ” Birds of Prey” ($33 million as of February 2020) and “The Suicide Squad” ($26.2 million as of August 2021), both of which were R-rated.
Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! Fury of the Gods” brought back Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody and Djimon Hounsou and added Helen Mirren, Rachel Zegler and Lucy Liu. Critics, many of whom found the first film charming, were largely blown away by this outing. It currently has a 53% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Audiences were more positive towards the sequel, giving it a B+ CinemaScore overall. Younger crowd was even cheaper.
“This movie was definitely lighter than we thought it was,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’s head of domestic sales. “We know there’s a rolling spring holiday coming up over the next few weeks, if kids are available, and who it’s aimed towards.” . We hope that we can achieve a large multiple.”
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods reportedly cost $125 million to produce, not including marketing and advertising costs. Internationally, the company generated US$35 million in 77 overseas markets including China, bringing its total revenues to US$65.5 million.
The DC shop at Warner Bros. has undergone a major recalibration in recent months, with new bosses in James Gunn and Peter Safran, paving a path for the DC Universe to officially begin in 2025 with a new “Superman” Shazam! 2″ was one of several holdovers from the old regime, which includes “The Flash” in June and a new “Aquaman” in December.
“Part of the overall overhaul of DC by our company with Peter Safran and James Gunn is resetting it for the future,” Goldstein said. “For us, everything revolves around the future.”
For Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst, there is a silver lining that Warner Bros. and DC have “another #1 under their belt.”
“They’re trying to refocus and refocus the brand,” Dergarabedian said. “You don’t change the trajectory of a brand as big as DC without it taking some time. This is a work in progress and this is a step on that journey.”
Second place went to “Scream IV” on its second weekend in cinemas. The horror picture, distributed by Paramount, fell 61% from its debut and added $17.5 million, bringing its domestic total to $76 million.
In its third weekend, “Creed III” grossed another $15.4 million to finish at #3. The film, directed by and starring Michael B. Jordan, has now grossed $127.7 million in North America. “65” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” rounded out the top five at $5.8 million and $4.1 million, respectively.
Following its Oscar win last Sunday, A24 added over 1,000 screens for an encore, Everywhere Everywhere All At Once, which grossed an additional $1.2 million. The Whale, for which Brendan Fraser won Best Actor, ran 509 screens and grossed $145,230.
“What audiences are enjoying right now is a variety of content,” said Dergarabedian. “Overall, it’s shaping up to be a strong month with ‘Creed III’ and ‘Scream VI’ making the best franchise debuts. We might see the same thing with ‘John Wick 4’.”
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday in US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore, with Wednesday through Sunday in parentheses. The final domestic figures will be released on Monday. 1. “Shazam! Fury of the Gods, $30.5 million. 2. “Scream VI”, $17.5 million. 3. “Creed III”, $15.4 million. 4. “65”, $5.8 million. 5. “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”, $4.1 million. 6. “Cocaine Bear”, $3.9 million. 7. “Jesus Revolution”, $3.5 million. 8. “Champions”, $3 million. 9. “Avatar: The Way of Water,” $1.9 million. 10. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” $1.5 million.
Follow AP film writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr
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