Warner Bros./New Line’s “Shazam!” is on pace to meet box office expectations after earning an opening night total of $20.5 million from 4,217 screens. The DC blockbuster is estimated to earn $50-51 million in its opening weekend, which would mean a $54-55 million domestic launch after Fandango advance screenings are included.
For superhero films, the closest comp for “Shazam!” is the 2015 Marvel film “Ant-Man,” which opened to $57.2 million. Like that film and fellow DC entry “Wonder Woman,” “Shazam!” earned an A from audiences surveyed by CinemaScore.
Combine that with a 93 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, and “Shazam!” has found the excellent word of mouth it will need to keep audiences coming in before the release of “Avengers: Endgame” in three weeks.
In second place is Paramount’s “Pet Sematary,” which is also expected to meet tracker expectations with a $23.5 million opening from 3,585 screens. The latest Stephen King adaptation made $10 million on Friday and has a budget of $20 million.
While “Pet Sematary” will stay out of the red, signs point to a steep drop next weekend. Critics have been only mildly positive with a 61 percent RT score, but audiences have not taken to this bleak, morbid tale like they did to New Line’s 2017 hit “It,” giving “Sematary” a C+ on CinemaScore.
Disney’s “Dumbo” takes the No. 3 spot with $18.3 million, which would be a 60 percent drop from its $45.9 million opening. Universal’s “Us” will pass the $150 million domestic mark in its third weekend with $14.5 million; and “Captain Marvel,” which passed $1 billion worldwide this past week, will add $12.5 million to bring its domestic total to $374 million.
Outside the top five is STX’s true-story drama “The Best of Enemies,” which took in $1.6 million from 1,705 screens. It is currently estimated to earn a $4.8 million opening, below tracker projections of a $6 million start. It has an A from CinemaScore but mixed reviews with a 49 percent RT score.