‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ isn’t heading for the DCU’s worst opening weekend ever, but there’s still a catch
There’s a lot riding on Shazam! Fury of the Gods when it comes to both the title hero and franchise’s place in James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new and improved DCU, but the early numbers aren’t exactly indicating that David F. Sandberg’s sequel is going to be so successful the co-CEOs are left with no other choice but to keep the Shazamily around.
While the second outing for Zachary Levi’s title hero isn’t on course to land the shared universe’s worst opening weekend of all-time, there’s still a catch. As current projections stand, Fury of the Gods is heading towards somewhere between $35 million and $40 million for the three-day frame, which is well below its predecessor’s $53 million bow.
If you want to get specific, though, it’ll go down in the history books as the weakest first frame for any PG-13 release in the superhero saga’s history that wasn’t affected by the pandemic. That admittedly sounds a little like splitting hairs, but it’s nonetheless worth keeping in mind when it comes to examining how interest in the follow-up to a popular and acclaimed comic book adaptation is falling so far behind its immediate forebear.
The only DCU films to debut lower than Fury of the Gods will be the $33 million of R-rated bomb Birds of Prey, the $26 million of the similarly adult-orientated The Suicide Squad, and the $16 million of Wonder Woman 1984. The latter two were of course doomed by a combination of the pandemic and simultaneous HBO Max releases, and Harley Quinn’s solo adventure cut out a huge part of its target audience, so it hardly makes for encouraging reading whichever way you want to look at it.