‘Shazam!’ The sequel topped the box office on its opening weekend but fell short of modest expectations

Shazam! Wrath of the Gods ” felt the wrath of the market in its theatrical debut this weekend. New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. superhero movie opened to a disappointing $30.5 million from 4,071 theaters, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

The “Shazam!” the sequel fell short of modest expectations ($35 million) as well as the first film in the series ($53.5 million as of April 2019), and earned a spot at the bottom end of DC comics movie launches, among “Birds of Prey” ($33 million in February 2020) and “The Suicide Squad” ($26.2 million in August 2021), both of which are R-rated.

Directed by David F. Sandberg, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” returns Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody and Djimon Hounsou, and adds Helen Mirren, Rachel Zegler and Lucy Liu. Critics, many of whom found the first film appealing, were largely surprised by this outing. It currently has a 53% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.

Audiences were more positive about the sequel, giving it a B+ CinemaScore overall. The younger crowd is even more favorable.

“This movie is obviously a lot lighter than we thought,” said Jeff Goldstein, the head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. towards. We hope that we will get a big multiple. “

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” cost a reported $125 million to produce, excluding marketing and promotional costs. Internationally, it earned $35 million from 77 overseas markets including China, bringing its total to $65.5 million.

The DC shop at Warner Bros. has been undergoing a major recalibration in the last few months, with new bosses in James Gunn and Peter Safran paving the way forward for the DC Universe to officially begin with a new “Superman” in 2025. “Shazam! 2” is one of many holdovers from the old regime, which includes “The Flash” coming in June and a new “Aquaman” in December.

“Part of the total overhaul of our company in DC with Peter Saffron and James Gunn is resetting it for the future,” said Goldstein. “It’s all about the future for us.”

For Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore, there is a silver lining that Warner Bros. and DC have “another No. 1 under their belt.”

“They’re trying to adjust and realign the brand,” Dergarabedian said. “You don’t change the trajectory for a brand as big as DC if it doesn’t last long. It’s a work in progress and this is a step in that journey.”

Second place went to “Scream IV” in its second week in theaters. The horror pic, distributed by Paramount, fell 61% from its debut and added $17.5 million, bringing its domestic total to $76 million.

In its third weekend, “Creed III” earned an additional $15.4 million to enter No. 3 places. The film, directed by and starring Michael B. Jordan has now grossed $127.7 million in North America. “65” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” rounded out the top five with $5.8 million and $4.1 million, respectively.

After Sunday’s Oscar sweep, A24 added more than 1,000 screens for an encore ” Everything Everywhere All In One ” run, where it earned an additional $1.2 million. “The Whale,” where Brendan Fraser became the best actorplayed on 509 screens and grossed $145,230.

“What audiences are enjoying now is the diversity of content,” Dergarabedian said. “Overall, it’s shaping up to be a solid month with ‘ Creed III ‘and’ Scream VI ‘ taking the franchise’s best debuts. We may see the same in ‘John Wick 4’.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore, with Wednesday through Sunday in parentheses. The final domestic figure will be released on Monday. 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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