The Shazam Sequel Sparks and Fizzles at the Box Office


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Image: Warner Bros.

Superhero fatigue seems to be hitting both Marvel and DC hard. Alongside a kind of mid-level audience response to Quantumania (it did good, like it made money, but it wasn’t great), Shazam! Fury of the Gods is likewise underperforming at the box office. While Variety reports that Shazam 2  opened at number 1 this weekend, early reports say that it’s netted about 30 million domestically against the estimated 35-40 million, against an estimated 210 million production/marketing budget. Compare this to Creed III, which had an impressive 100 million opening weekend just last week.

Comparing this opening weekend to the first Shazam! film, which had a 54 million dollar opening, shows a pretty significant slowdown in audience excitement for the film franchise. Shawn Robbins, chief analyist at BoxOffice Pro says that, “It’s a soft start… Comic book films are steadily showing that without an event-level hook, it’s difficult to live up to predecessor performances.”

There’s a lot of reasons why this could be occurring. Less than glowing reviews, a general fatigue for superhero films, a murky marketing campaign, the lack of name-brand superheroes (Shazam isn’t exactly Superman, or even Aquaman) or even the recent shakeup at DC Studios, now under James Gunn’s purview, could all be a reason for the slowdown at the box office.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is currently in theaters.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.


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