Shazam! Fury of the Gods underwhelms with $30.5 Million debut
Shazam! Fury of the Gods pulled in under studio expectations with just a $30.5 million opening weekend.
The past few weeks we have seen some uplifting headlines as films such as Creed III and Scream VI coming out with franchise best openings. This week we have no such headline. The DC Extended Universe has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Unfortunately, this weekend represents one of those “down” weekends as Shazam! Fury of the Gods came in at a very underwhelming $30.5 million, putting it right in line with our predictions from Thursday, yet under the $35 million the studio had projected earlier in the week. That puts this sequel at around a 44% drop from the original films opening and that film actually had a budget about $25 million less than this one. To put an even finer tooth comb on it: Black Adam which opened late last year and was seen as a pretty sizable bomb, opened with just over $67 million.
What went wrong? Could it be that with the DC Universe getting a full on reboot starting with 2025’s James Gunn directed Superman Legacy audiences realize that these last few films in the old DCEU really don’t matter at all? Sure, we have all heard the party line that there is a future for these characters in the new universe, but that really was just something they had to say as to not completely tank the prospective box office of the films they still have in the pipeline, and honestly, I don’t fault them for that. You couldn’t have James Gunn saying these films were just getting released because they are contractually obligated to. Having seen the movie, I think I can say another reason this movie came in so low is that quite simply it is a big disappointment. I personally loved the first film, it was a fun filled superhero movie that didn’t take itself too seriously, which was a welcome break from the rest of the DCEU. This one, by the third act, just turned into a standard comic book over CGI’d monster movie undistinguishable from many that had come before it. Of course as we always say, film is subjective, and as much as I didn’t enjoy this sequel, our own JimmyO seemed to really enjoy it when he gave it a solid 9/10 in his review.
So where do we go from here? As much as I thought they should just dump The Flash movie due to the lead stars offscreen criminal activity, I can’t deny that the trailer looks amazing! Of course 99% of that is simply due to Michael Keaton coming back as Batman. But if we are to believe Tom Cruise, and we here at Joblo always believe Tom Cruise, then The Flash is going to be “everything you want in a movie” and “the kind of movie we need now.” That is high praise coming from the man who according to Steven Spielberg “saved the movie industry!” But then you have Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom coming on December 25, 2023, which is more in line with the now-ended DCEU. So we are in a weird time right now between the DC universes of the past and the future and I’m not entirely sure if there ever was a plan to make them connect or not, despite what they tell us.
Coming in second place is Scream VI which took a horror movie standard 61% drop with $17.5 million this weekend. Horror films are always front loaded especially when it is a movie like Scream where you don’t want the internet to ruin any of the twists and turns before you get a chance to see it. I was definitely expecting a bit of a better hold for this one as it had strong reviews (including a 9/10 from our own JimmyO) and a solid 92% audience score. Add to that the fact that recent horror films like Smile and M3GAN have been killing it at the box office (Smile only dropped 18% in its second weekend while M3GAN lost just shy of 40%). The good news is that Scream VI should easily pass the 1996 original’s domestic take of $103 million to become the highest grossing film in the franchise.
Third place belongs to Creed III with an additional $15.3 million added to its impressive $127.6 million running total. Not too shabby for the directorial debut of star Michael B. Jordan. Obviously this movie could have gone south without the connective tissue of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky but Michael B. Jordan crafted a solid film in the Creed universe that has been able to stand on its own two feet.
Coming in fourth place is the Adam Driver led film 65 with an additional $5.8 million, dropping just 53% from its opening last week. As I have said before, I expected this one to have a much harsher drop than it actually did. Despite the filmmakers hating the marketing for this film giving away the Dinosaur surprise, that is precisely what got people to theaters for this movie, because after seeing this one, I didn’t think the movie lived up to the trailer.
Rounding out the top five is the other cinematic universe release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania with $4.07 million and a running total of $205.8 million after five weeks of release. Not a bad total, but not the behemoth we expect from a Marvel release, especially when you consider its $200 million budget.
The remainder of the top ten are your holdovers with Cocaine Bear taking in $3.8 million for a running total just under $60 million followed by the very successful run of the faith based film Jesus Revolution with an additional $3.5 million added to its running total of $45.5 million. Faith based films tend to get one or two weeks in the top ten and then fade away, but this one has shown some very solid staying power and should continue that path through Easter.
Coming in eighth place is the Bobby Farrelly directed Champions with $3.03 million representing a 41% drop from last week and just over $10 million in total. While ninth and tenth place belong to two of the biggest films of 2022 with Avatar: The Way of Water and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish continuing their domination with $1.9 million and $1.5 million respectively.
Did you make it to theaters this weekend? If so, let us know what you saw and how you liked it, and don’t forget to check out our Poll where we ask what your favorite DCEU film has been.