‘Shazam! 2’ Posts Muted ‘Fury’ at Weekend Box Office Debut

New Line Cinema’s DC Comics sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods had a mediocre opening weekend, grossing an estimated $30.5 million in domestic box office revenue ($65 million worldwide) through March 19. That’s about $5 million less than studio estimates, but above a $27.6 million projection by Box Office Mojo.

The $30.5 million tally across more than 4,000 North American screens is 44% less than the $53.5 million debut for the original Shazam! in 2019. It does mark Warner Bros. Discovery’s top box office debut in 2023 thus far, supplanting last month’s Magic Mike’s Last Dance with $25.9 million in ticket sales.

More importantly, Fury of the Gods, which again stars Zachary Levi as he quirky title character, underscores ongoing concerns regarding the DC brand (lower opening than 2020’s Birds of Prey), and the super hero genre in general.

While Marvel Studios continues to dominate the box office, speaking earlier this month at an investor event in San Francisco, Disney CEO Bob Iger questioned mindlessly churning out superhero sequels.

Indeed, the recent Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania largely disappeared following its disappointing box office premiere. The threequel added $4.1 million in revenue to finished No. 5 over the weekend.

“What we have to look at at Marvel is not necessarily the volume of Marvel storytelling, but how many times we go back to the well on certain characters,” Iger told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.

Regardless, WBD is staking much of its theatrical future on DC Cinematic Universe characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Joker, Superman and Aquaman, among others. Whether Shazam! and Black Adam (which generated similar social media critic scores to Fury) remain in the mix seems questionable.

Meanwhile, Paramount Pictures’ previous weekend champ, Scream VI, sold $17.5 million in tickets in its sophomore weekend for No. 2, upping its North American tally around $80 million.

MGM Studios’ boxing drama Creed III rounded out the podium with $15.3 million in ticket sales across almost 3,500 screens, upping its three-week tally to almost $128 million.

Sony Pictures’ astronaut thriller 65 finished No. 4 over the weekend, adding  $5.8 million in ticket sales to up its two week tally past $22 million.

New Line Cinema’s DC Sequel ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ Looks to Soar to Top of Box Office

Warner Bros. Discovery’s New Line Cinema avoided a minefield late last year when it pulled its planned Dec. 21 debut of DC superhero movie sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods — which was scheduled to debut just days after 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water, which has gone on to become the No. 3 all-time grossing box office release.

New Line is now set to release the follow up to 2019’s box office hit Shazam! today (March 17), taking on last weekend’s No. 1 Scream VI (Paramount Pictures) and the previous weekend topper, MGM Studios’ boxing drama Creed III.

While the original Shazam!, which also starred Zachary Levi, debuted with more than $53 million on the way to a $366 million global box office haul, sequel Fury of the Gods is looking to generate about half of that total, according to Box Office Pro, which cited a lack of social media buzz and pre-debut ticket sales. Warner is projecting opening North American revenue of around $35 million.

The movie sold $3.4 million in tickets in special Thursday screenings.

Regardless, the ticket sales should be enough to push Scream VI into the No. 2 spot with an additional $19 million in ticket sales ($77.1 million North American total). Creed III is expected to round out the podium with $18.2 million in revenue, upping its three-week domestic tally past $130 million.

Other returning titles include Sony Pictures’ astronaut actioner 65 ($5.6 million) and Universal Pictures’ comedy thriller Cocaine Bear ($4.2 million), which debuted on premium VOD and premium sellthrough March 14 — 17 days after the movie’s theatrical debut.