The superhero sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods premiered in theaters, and it did not go quite as well as hoped. The sequel fell short of its expectations by pulling in a worldwide haul of $65.6 million at the box office, which is still a respectable amount of cash but far short of what’s expected of big-budget superhero movies these days. Shazam 2 had a budget of around $125 million, and the film still has some climbing to do before it breaks even. Pouring some salt on the wound here would be the mixed reviews, as Fury of the Gods landed with a rotten rating of 52% at the box office, albeit with a much-higher audience score of 87%.
In any case, the results have been disappointing for the Shazam! Fury of the Gods team. Star Zachary Levi spoke about the film coming up short at the box office with a post on Twitter. In response to one fan suggesting that fanatics of Zack Snyder’s “Snyderverse” will be ecstatic, Levi agrees, though he goes on to suggest that the bigger issue with Fury of the Gods is improper marketing.
“This is also true. Sad, but true,” Levi said, referring to the Snyderverse fans hoping for the film to fail. “How much that actually affects the box office is anyone’s guess. But I think the biggest issue we’re having is marketing. This is a perfect family movie, and yet a lot of families aren’t aware of that. Which is just a shame.”
Related: Shazam! Director Addresses the Future of Zachary Levi’s Superhero in the DCU
Shazam! Fury of the Gods Director David F. Sandberg Has Already Moved On
The director of the movie, David F. Sandberg, was similarly vocal about his disappointment. He noted on Twitter how the film oddly has both the lowest score from critics and the highest score from audiences he’s ever gotten. But as far as the critics’ reviews go, Sandberg admits he’s still surprised, as he felt very confident about the quality of Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
“On Rotten Tomatoes I just got my lowest critic score and my highest audience score on the same film,” the filmmaker wrote. ” I wasn’t expecting a repeat of the first movie critically but I was still a little surprised because I think it’s a good film. Oh well.”
Sandberg added that he’s “definitely done with superheroes for now,” clearly not expecting Shazam 3 to happen at this point. That coincides with comments he’d made ahead of its release that the future of the character in the DCU will depend upon how well Fury of the Gods does in theaters. The film’s shortcomings now seem to have sealed the fate for Shazam, keeping the character limited to two movies.
For what it’s worth, it could be speculated that, for who knows how many fans, Shazam! Fury of the Gods coming up short at the box office has nothing to do with the movie itself. The sequel has the distinction of coming out after the fate of the DCEU had already been sealed with James Gunn and Peter Safran announcing alternative plans for their DCU moving forward. Given how Black Adam ended with teases for a Superman return that won’t actually happen, it seems likely that many fans are refusing to even bother watching the other DCEU-set films like Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, but it’s impossible to determine just how much this alone affected ticket sales.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is playing in movie theaters.
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