Amid mixed word-of-mouth, DC sequel earns a worse launch than the 2020 Harley Quinn film ”Birds of Prey“
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Warner Bros./New Line/DC’s “Shazam!: Fury of the Gods” is shaping up to be this month’s box office misfire with a $30.5 million opening from 4,071 theaters, 44% down from the $53.5 million opening of the first “Shazam!” in 2019 as it adds $35 million overseas for a $65.5 million global launch.
“Shazam 2” wasn’t expected to get anywhere near that mark, but it has fallen short of projections for a $35-38 million opening. On top of that, it has also fallen below the $33 million opening of the February 2020 DC film “Birds of Prey,” which at the time had been the worst opening for a DC film in a decade.
Chances for significant legs also look unlikely. While the first “Shazam” enjoyed a 90% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and an A on CinemaScore, “Fury of the Gods” has fallen to 53% on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ on CinemaScore. That CinemaScore grade is the same as “Black Adam,” which got off to a strong opening weekend but tailed off in the weekends after, though the Rotten Tomatoes audience score is still strong at 87%.
PostTrak scores signal that the film may have some lasting power with families during the spring break period over the next few weeks as that audience subset gave it a 4.5/5. But general audience scores came in at 3.5/5, a so-so score that will likely lead to the film struggling among casual moviegoers as “John Wick: Chapter 4” and other major titles hit theaters in the coming weeks.
“Shazam: Fury of the Gods” is one of four DC films greenlit before the arrival of new DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran last fall that will be released this year, with “The Flash” and “Blue Beetle” coming out this summer and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” coming out on Christmas. The rebooted DC Universe won’t begin until July 2025 with “Superman: Legacy,” which Gunn will write and direct.
Among holdovers, Paramount/Spyglass’ “Scream VI” is in second with $17.5 million in its second weekend. That’s a 61% drop from the film’s $45 million opening, which is par for the course for slasher films. But with a 10-day total of $76 million, this sequel will cross the $81.6 million domestic total earned by last year’s “Scream” sometime this week.
MGM’s “Creed III” continues to show respectable legs in its third weekend with $15.4 million, bringing its domestic total to $127.7 million. The boxing sequel is MGM’s highest grossing film outside of the James Bond series in over 20 years, passing the $115 million domestic total of “Creed II” in 2018.
Sony’s “65” is in fourth with $5.8 million in its second weekend, giving it a 10-day total of $22.4 million. The poorly reviewed, $45 million budgeted sci-fi thriller from the screenwriters of “A Quiet Place” is heading towards flop status, with Sony relying on co-financing from Bron and TSG to mitigate the financial hit.
Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is in fifth with $4.1 million and it’s possibly in its final weekend in the top five. With cumes of $205 million domestic and $462 million worldwide, the film is unlikely to even cross the $500 million global mark, let alone the $622.6 million opening of the last “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
Next weekend sees the release of “John Wick: Chapter 4” by Lionsgate, and it could be the biggest opening weekend of the month. After the last “Wick” opened to $56.3 million in 2019, “Chapter 4” is currently tracking to set a new high for the Keanu Reeves action series with an opening of at least $60 million.
Box Office Reporter • email@example.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster