Shazam 2 Opening Weekend Box Office Hits Devastating DC Universe Low
Mar 23, 2023
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set for one of the lowest opening weekends the DC Universe has ever seen. The film, which opened in theaters on March 17, re-teams director David F. Sandberg with returning cast member, including Asher Angel as the teen Billy Batson and Zachary Levi as his adult superhero form Shazam. It is a follow-up to the 2019 film Shazam!, a largely standalone superhero effort from the connected universe which was already one of the lower-performing DCU outings, making $365.9 million worldwide off a budget of $100 million.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the domestic box office results are in for the Shazam! Fury of the Gods opening weekend. By the end of today, the sequel is projected to have earned a total of $30 million. In addition to opening at about half of the original Shazam!, that would make this the third worst opening weekend of the entire franchise, ahead of only the pandemic-impacted releases of Wonder Woman 1984 and The Suicide Squad, both of which were released on HBO Max simultaneously with their theatrical premieres.
Related: Shazam 2’s Trailers Spoiled The Brilliant Wonder Woman Joke
Is Shazam 2’s Performance A Bad Sign For The Remaining Pre-Gunn DC Movies?
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is one of the last vestiges of the old DC Studios regime before the merger between parent company Warner Bros. and Discovery. In addition to the Batgirl movie being canceled while in post-production, this led to CEO Walter Hamada stepping down in late 2022. New co-chairmen and co-CEOS James Gunn and Peter Safran are developing a new slate of heroes, including a recast Superman, so the future of many extant characters and performers remains unknown.
While the new DCU develops, the final set of movies produced before the regime change are being released. This includes 2022’s Black Adam, which received lukewarm box office and saw DC immediately backpedal its mid-credits promise of bringing back Henry Cavill as Superman. The other upcoming outings include The Flash this Summer and Aquaman 2 this Christmas, with no promise of further outings for either hero incoming.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Black Adam’s underperformance may be a dark portent of things to come for those films. However, both are part of the already low-performing Shazam subfranchise, so The Flash may thrive on the back of its Spider-Man: No Way Home-esque multiverse and Aquaman 2 may continue to ride the success of the original Aquaman, which is still the highest-grossing entry in the franchise worldwide. This weekend’s box office shows that the DC films franchise is in dire need of a reboot, though, so even if those films succeed they may not earn sequels of their own.
More: Shazam! Fury of the Gods 24 DC Easter Eggs & References ExplainedSource: THR
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