DC and New Line Cinema Shazam! Fury of the gods is a scorned superhero picture.
The film opened to $30.5 million domestically from 4,071 theaters, well behind the $53.5 million domestic opening of the first. Shazam! in 2019, not adjusted for inflation.
It’s one of the worst starts for a major Hollywood superhero movie, as well as one of the worst for a title in the DC Cinematic Universe, including those released during the pandemic. Fury of the gods costs at least $110 million to produce before commercialization.
The news was just as bad overseas, where Fury of the gods opened at just $35 million in 78 markets — including shelling out China with $4.4 million — for a global start of $65.5 million.
In North America, preview tracking had suggested Shazam! Fury of the gods would open to at least $35 million this weekend. Others thought he had a $40 million chance.
Shazam 2The Rotten Tomatoes review score is a ho-hum 54%. That compares to 90% for the 2019 film. The sequel also received a more moderate B+ CinemaScore, compared to an A for the first.
The Families – which played a key role in the surprise success of the first film – remains a difficult cinematic demo in the age of the pandemic. Parents and children also visited for the sequel.
Fury of the gods is the 12th installment in the DC Extended Universe and the first to be released since the head of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, called on James Gunn and Shazam! franchise producer Peter Safran to lead DC Studios and engineer a complete overhaul.
Fury of the gods also comes as the future of DC characters and cast featured before Gunn and Saffron’s takeover hangs in the balance. Superman actor Henry Cavill, for example, won’t be returning. Levi addressed his future at Tuesday’s Hollywood premiere, telling The Hollywood Reporter“I am very happy with this film. …I hope it’s not my last.
David F. Sandberg directed Shazam! Fury of the gods from a screenplay by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan. Asher Angel and Zachary Levi return as Billy Bastson aka Shazam. Djimon Hounson, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and, in his first film since his role in Spielberg’s Western coast HistoryRachel Zegler, also starring.
The other new large-scale release of the weekend was Roadside Attractions’ Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin’s Move on, which debuted to $798,000 million on 791 screens. The comedy relied on older adults, who, like families, are a contested demo. Move on arrived at No. 12.
Back in the top 10 Cry VI pulled in $17.5 million from 3,675 theaters for a national total of $76 million. The slasher photo dropped 61%. Overseas, it earned an additional $11.3 million in 53 markets for a foreign tally of $40 million – a good performance for a horror picture – and $116 million worldwide against a budget of $33 million.
Creed III also remained a notable contender, earning $15.3 million from 3,477 sites on its third release for a domestic sum of $127.6 million. The Michael B. Jordan pic added $12 million internationally from 75 markets for $96.6 million overseas and $224.3 million worldwide.
At the specialty box office, Focus Features’ thriller Willem Defoe Inside came in at #14, grossing $470,000 from 375 locations.
March 19, 7:45 a.m.: Updated with revised estimates.
March 19, 1:40 p.m.: A previous version of this story had an incorrect estimate for Move on.