×

Box Office: ‘Shazam’ Zaps to $5.9 Million on Thursday

Warner Bros.’ “Shazam!” earned $5.9 million on Thursday in North America, topping “Pet Sematary,” which made $2.3 million.

Shazam!” is expected to nab $45 million to $50 million domestically at 4,217 locations. The DC Comics adventure centers on Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a teenager who can transform into a cheerful superhero (Zachary Levi) when someone says the magic word. David F. Sandberg directed from Henry Gayden’s script.

“Shazam!” has received strong critical support, earning a 92% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with reviewers praising its departure from the self-importance of the genre. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman wrote, “‘Shazam!’ … is just a light, funny, grounded, engagingly unpretentious sleight-of-hand action comedy about a boy in a (super)man’s body.”

If “Shazam!” becomes a hit, it’ll be the third success story in a row for DC Entertainment following “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman.” Warner Bros. spent $80 million to produce “Shazam!,” roughly half of what it cost to make “Aquaman” and “Wonder Woman.”

“Shazam!” had already earned $3.3 million from advanced screenings two weeks ago as the studio partnered with Fandango to build buzz. Warner Bros. also positioned “Shazam!” a month after Disney’s “Captain Marvel” and three weeks ahead of the studio’s “Avengers: Endgame.”

Pet Sematary,” based on Stephen King’s horror novel, is expected to collect around $20 million at 3,585 sites. The remake premiered as the closing-night film at SXSW and is debuting with a 71% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Pet Sematary” stars Jason Clarke as Dr. Louis Creed in the story of a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the Maine woods near the family’s new home. Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow also star. The film comes three decades after the original adaptation of the King classic. “Starry Eyes” helmers Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer directed the movie.

STX’s “The Best of Enemies” took $265,000 at 1,440 venues on Thursday night and goes wide Friday on 1,705 screens. Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell portray a civil rights activist and a KKK leader, respectively, forced to work together to settle a court-ordered school desegregation decree. The feel-good film, based on a true story, should earn between $6 million and $12 million, which would be solid start, given its $10 million price tag.

The weekend should continue the momentum established in March, which saw the second-highest monthly total ever with $962 million. Year-to-date domestic box office was down 17.2%, to $2.43 billion, as of April 3, according to Comscore.

“Two of the most reliable and popular genres in the world of film will have the multiplex bustling with superhero and horror movie aficionados as ‘Shazam!’ and ‘Pet Sematary,’ along with the true-life star-powered drama ‘Best of Enemies,’ offer literally something for everybody at what will be a solid weekend at the box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore.

More Film

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content