“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is thundering to a No. 1 opening at the box office, though the DC Comics adaptation is expected to fly in lower than its predecessor.
“Fury of the Gods” grossed $11.7 million in opening day ticket sales, a figure that includes $3.4 million in Thursday previews. That’s almost half of the $20.3 million that the 2019 original earned in its first day of release, on its way to a $53 million bow. “Fury of the Gods” carries a production budget of $125 million, which is $25 million higher than its predecessor’s.
Opening in 4,071 theaters, the superhero sequel will likely struggle to reach a $30 million debut. With DC Studios under the newly minted leadership of Peter Safran and James Gunn, “Shazam! 2” represents somewhat of a relic of a bygone regime for the comic book banner. While a film like “The Flash” was also conceived before Safran and Gunn’s tenure, the pair of CEOs have often declared their conviction in the quality of the upcoming Ezra Miller film. Chatter around the “Shazam!” sequel has been much quieter.
Responses are also a step down from the resounding praise that met the original. “Fury of the Gods” currently carries a 26% approval rating from top critics on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. The film did earn a “B+” rating through research firm Cinema Score, indicating general approval among the first round of ticket buyers, but even that is a notable degree down from the first film’s “A” grade.
Starring Zachary Levi, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” sees Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and his foster siblings using their transformative powers to take on the Daughters of Atlas, who threaten to destroy the world. Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren round out the film’s cast. David F. Sandberg returns as director.
“Scream VI” looks to slide to second place in its sophomore outing, projecting a 60% tumble from its impressive $44 million debut. Paramount and Spyglass Media’s self-branded slasher “requel” looks to earn $18 million this weekend, boosting its domestic total to a substantial $76.5 million. “Scream VI” continues to perform a good deal better than its 2022 predecessor, which finished its theatrical run with $81 million in North America.
More to come…
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