©Warner Bros/courtesy Everett C
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is thundering toward a No. 1 box office opening, though the DC Comics adaptation is expected to fly 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 nearly half of the $20.3 million the 2019 original earned on its first day of release, en route to a $53 million arc. “Fury of the Gods” has a production budget of $125 million, which is $25 million more than its predecessor.
Opening in 4,071 theaters, the superhero sequel will likely struggle to hit a $30 million debut. With DC Studios under the new leadership of Peter Safran and James Gunn, “Shazam! 2” is something of a relic of a bygone comic book-banner regime. While a movie like “The Flash” was also conceived before Safran and Gunn’s tenure, the two CEOs have often stated their belief in the quality of Ezra Miller’s next film. Chat around the “Shazam!” suite was much calmer.
The responses are also a step back from the resounding praise that met the original. “Fury of the Gods” currently has a 26% approval rating from top critics on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. The film earned a “B+” rating from research firm Cinema Score, indicating general approval among the first round of ticket buyers, but even that is a notable degree over the first film’s “A” rating. .
Starring Zachary Levi, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” sees Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and his foster brothers use 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, with David F. Sandberg returning to direct.
“Scream VI” appears to slip into second place on its second release, projecting a 60% drop from its impressive $44 million debut. The Paramount and Spyglass Media slasher “requelle” looks set to earn $18 million this weekend, bringing its domestic total to $76.5 million. “Scream VI” continues to outperform its 2022 predecessor, which ended its theatrical run with $81 million in North America.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s “Creed III” is heading for bronze, projecting a gross of $15.8 million in its third weekend of release. Michael B. Jordan’s boxing drama has done remarkably well since its $58 million debut, a record streak in the movies “Rocky” and “Creed.” Domestic gross will top $125 million through Sunday.
Columbia Pictures’ “65” landed in fourth place, projecting $5.5 million in its second weekend of release. Sony’s sci-fi thriller, which sees Adam Driver star as a space explorer stranded on prehistoric Earth, is expected to push its domestic revenue to $22 million after the weekend.
Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” rounds out the top five, adding $1.1 million on Friday. Now in its fifth weekend of release, Disney’s release has surpassed the $200 million mark at the domestic box office. It remains to be seen whether the film will be able to match the $216 million haul its 2018 predecessor achieved in North America.
Meanwhile, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” expanded into its 52nd weekend of release as the victory lap for its Best Picture Oscar win last Sunday. Now playing in 1,633 theaters, the A24 comedy is looking to add $1.1 million over the three-day period, bringing its domestic gross to $75.4 million.