‘Shazam 2’ Faces DC Ennui Hoping Box Office Lightning Will Strike Twice

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Warner Bros. and New Line found superhero success at a lower budget four years ago. Can they do it again?

Shazam Fury of the Gods

As James Gunn continues his plans to refresh DC Studios, Warner Bros. has several superhero films to release in 2023, starting with New Line’s “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” the sequel to the family-friendly superhero blockbuster starring Asher Angel as Billy Batson and Zachary Levi as Billy’s superpowered alter ego Shazam.

The second film may not be as super, though. Pre-release projections for “Shazam 2” are predicting an opening of $35 million-38 million from 4,000+ screens. That range is only slightly higher than the $33 million earned by “Birds of Prey,” a film that barely reached the breakeven point in early 2020 with $84.1