Speed Reads

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods has one of the worst opening weekends for a DC film

The DC Extended Universe may be going out with more of a whimper than a bang. 

Shazam! Fury of the Gods had a surprisingly poor opening weekend of just $30.5 million at the domestic box office, one of the worst debuts for a DC superhero movie. This was down from the $53.5 million opening of the original 2019 film and the $67 million debut of 2022's Black Adam.

The only movies in the current DC universe that had a worse opening are Wonder Woman 1984 and The Suicide Squad, though those aren't directly comparable considering they came out during the pandemic and were released simultaneously on HBO Max. Discounting these films affected by COVID, the DC Extended Universe's previous lowest opening was $33 million for Birds of Prey

It's possible Fury of the Gods' poor performance could have been affected by audiences' knowledge that new DC boss James Gunn is working on overhauling the franchise, meaning the film may have no relevance to the series going forward. But there's also the fact that the original Shazam! already wasn't a massive sensation, and the sequel received much weaker reviews. Audiences gave Fury of the Gods a B+ CinemaScore grade compared to an A for the first film. This continues a weak year for superhero movies at the box office after Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which also received worse reviews than its predecessors, had a solid opening weekend, but quickly fell off after that.

Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg previously said he was told "there's nothing in the Shazam films that contradict the future plans for DC," meaning the character could potentially continue into the future. But Sandberg warned, "He definitely won't [return] if people don't go see the movie." In a Reddit box office discussion thread this weekend, Sandberg said the film's poor performance doesn't come "as a surprise" and that he "saw where this was heading a long time ago," adding, "I'll be alright though. I got paid all my money upfront." He later said this comment was intended as a joke and that he's "very proud" of the movie.