'Shazam! Fury of the Gods' Disappoints Despite No. 1 Box Office Debut
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Zachary Levi-starring sequel opens to dismal $30.5 million domestically, marking one of the worst starts for a title in the DC Cinematic Universe, including those released during the pandemic.

AceShowbiz - "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" fails to soar on its domestic debut. The superhero movie opens to a disappointing $30 million from 4,071 theaters despite stealing the thunder from last week's champion "Scream VI", according to studio estimates on Sunday, March 19.

The "Shazam!" sequel fell short of its modest expectations, which were in the $35-$40 million range for its first weekend. It's a substantial drop from the first movie, which opened to $53.5 million in 2019.

The "Fury of the Gods" domestic debut is also one of the worst starts in the DC Cinematic Universe, including those released during the pandemic. "Wonder Woman 1984" made $16.7 million and "The Suicide Squad" debuted to $26 million when they were released during the pandemic. It's worth noting that both movies opened simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

Internationally, "Shazam! 2" also received lukewarm welcome with a soft $35 million opening from 78 markets for a worldwide start of $65.5 million. It, however, should've come as no surprise since the movie holds a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and received a B+ CinemaScore, down from the first film's A grade.

"This movie clearly was lighter than we thought it would be," Jeff Goldstein, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros, acknowledges. "We know there's a rolling spring break over the next few weeks when kids are available, which is who it's targeted toward. We're hopeful that we can get a big multiple."

"It's a soft start, there's no other way to put it," Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice Pro, also weighs in. "Comic book films are steadily showing that without an event-level hook, it's difficult to live up to predecessor performances."

Elsewhere in the top five, "Scream VI" is pushed down to No. 2 with an estimated $17.5 million (down 61%) in its second weekend for a domestic total of $76 million so far. Overseas, it adds $11.3 million for a foreign tally of $40 million, bringing its global total to $116 million so far.

"Creed III" also drops one place to No. 3 with a solid performance, earning another $15.4 million for a domestic cume of $127.6 million. The boxing drama starring and directed by Michael B. Jordan adds another $12 million internationally for a foreign gross of $96.6 million and $224.3 million globally.

Sci-fi pic "65", which stars Adam Driver, places fourth with approximately $5.8 million, followed by "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" which descends one place to No. 5 with an estimated $4.1 million.

Top 10 of North America Box Office (Mar. 17-19, 2023):

  1. "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" - $30.5 million
  2. "Scream VI" - $17.5 million
  3. "Creed III" - $15.4 million
  4. "65" - $5.8 million
  5. "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" - $4.1 million
  6. "Cocaine Bear" - $3.9 million
  7. "Jesus Revolution" - $3.5 million
  8. "Champions" - $3 million
  9. "Avatar: The Way of Water" - $1.9 million
  10. "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" - $1.5 million

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