The “Fury of the Gods” may not be all that furious. Warner Bros. and DC’s “Shazam” sequel took flight with $3.4 million in Thursday previews at the domestic box office, behind the original movie’s preview haul in 2019.
The sequel to Zachary Levi’s superhero movie will land with a smaller opening than its predecessor. The first “Shazam” movie had $5.9 million in Thursday previews before opening with $53.5 million in April 2019. It went on to gross $140 million domestically and $366 million globally.
However, “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” is only expected to bring in $35 million to $40 million. Each of the “Shazam” movies cost $100 million to produce, but that’s a significant drop from the original.
David F. Sandberg returned to direct “Shazam: Fury of the Gods,” which is the second adventure for young Billy Batson, who can turn into a superhero by saying the word “Shazam.” Billy and his foster siblings, who also have Shazam powers, must face off against the Daughters of Atlas, played by Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler. The cast also includes Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ross Butler, Djimon Hounsou and more.
In his review for Variety, chief film critic Owen Gleiberman wrote, “The villains are defeated, the mythology is fulfilled, but the real story here is that a superhero saga that seemed to hold out possibilities of lifesize quirkiness and delight winds up getting squashed into the shape of any other superhero franchise. The force that does that is the true power that needs to be defeated.”
Despite the lukewarm reviews, “Shazam” is expected to beat last week’s box office champ “Scream VI,” and it’s the only new, wide release this weekend.