Warner Bros./New Line/DC’s “Shazam!: Fury of the Gods” is expected to make substantially less at the box office than its 2019 predecessor, and that is playing out with Thursday previews as the sequel made $3.4 million from more than 3,400 theaters.
Four years ago, “Shazam!” earned $6 million from Thursday previews en route to a $53.5 million opening weekend, beating projections of a $45 million launch. Heading into this weekend, “Shazam 2” projections have stayed at $35 million-$38 million.
While there is still a possibility that this $100 million superhero film could still pass the break-even point from such an opening weekend, the film would have to gather considerable word-of-mouth in the coming weeks to do so, particularly among families looking for a day at the movies as schools have spring break on a rolling basis through late March and early April.
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Unfortunately, that word-of-mouth won’t get help from critics, who after praising the first “Shazam!” are very mixed on “Fury of the God,” giving it a 55% Rotten Tomatoes score at time of writing.
“Shazam!: Fury of the Gods” is one of four DC films that were greenlit by the superhero label’s previous leadership, with the others being “The Flash” in June, “Blue Beetle” in August and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” on Christmas Day. Last fall, “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn and “Shazam!” producer Peter Safran were hired as the new heads of DC Studios and plan to reboot the entire franchise into a new cinematic universe that will cover movies, TV shows and other media.
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That reboot will begin in July 2025 with “Superman: Legacy,” which Gunn announced on Wednesday that he will direct and write the script. Gunn says that the film will follow a younger Man of Steel during his early days as the hero of Metropolis and will focus on the influence that both his Kryptonian birth parents and his adopted mother and father from Smallville had on him.
David F. Sandberg directed the first installment of “Shazam!” and its sequel. The script is by Henry Gayden, Chris Morgan and Bill Parker. Zachary Levi once again stars as the superhero, alongside a cast that includes Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou and Helen Mirren.