Audiences are acutely aware of the behind-the-scenes recalibration taking place at DC Studios with regard to the DC Extended Universe, and having primed themselves for what’s in store for the franchise over the next few years, they no longer feel the need to be invested in the past. And it’s showing in the box office performance of this week’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which is coming in majorly under its already modest projections. With just $11.7 million on Friday, including $3.4 million in Thursday previews, the superhero sequel is looking at an underwhelming, and potentially series-low opening weekend of just $30 million.
Fury of the Gods, the sequel to the mostly-liked 2019 film Shazam! was expected to hit $35 million in its three-day debut, which would have still been significantly lower than the first film’s $53.5 million debut. Shazam! ended its run with $140 million domestically and $225 million from overseas territories, for a worldwide total of $366 million against a reported budget of $100 million. The sequel reportedly cost around $125 million. Not counting mid-pandemic releases The Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman 1984, Fury of the Gods is poised to deliver the lowest opening in the history of the DC Extended Universe.
Starring Zachary Levi as the titular superhero, Fury of the Gods is the 12th film in the beleaguered franchise, and the first since filmmaker James Gunn and producer Peter Safran were hired to steer the series in a new direction. Warner Bros. had originally slated the film for a December release, but it was delayed to avoid getting drowned by Avatar: The Way of Water. But now it’s taking punches from holdover hits Scream VI and Creed III. The film’s disappointing debut comes just weeks after rival Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania similarly underperformed at the box office. Both Shazam and Ant-Man, as characters, can be considered of equal stature in their respective franchises.
After exceeding expectations with a $44 million opening weekend, Scream VI will slide to the second spot with an estimated $18 million. The horror sequel made $5.1 million on its second Friday, pushing its running domestic total to $63 million. Worldwide, the film will pass the $100 million mark this weekend. By comparison, its direct predecessor, last year’s fifth Scream film, ended its global run with $137 million.
Creed III took the third spot with $4.3 million on its third Friday. Like Scream VI, the third film in the Rocky spinoff series massively over-performed in its debut weekend, grossing $59 million. The film is projected to make $16 million this weekend, which should take its running domestic total to just under $130 million. Globally, Creed III is looking to punch past $200 million by Sunday. The fourth and fifth spots were claimed by Sony’s science-fiction dinosaur film 65 and Disney’s Ant-Man 2. While 65 made $1.5 million on its second Friday, taking its running domestic total to $18 million, Ant-Man 2 made $1.1 million, for a $202 million domestic tally. With $452 million worldwide so far, the film will not pass either of its predecessors — Ant-Man ($519 million) and Ant-Man and the Wasp ($622 million) — at the global box office.
You can watch our interview with Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg here, and stay tuned to Collider for more updates.