Box office tracking for Shazam! is in and DC's latest is looking at an opening weekend haul of around $40 million. Warner Bros., via New Line, has been developing this one for quite some time, even before the current DC movie universe as we know it started to take shape. Now, it's finally getting ready to be unleashed on the moviegoing public as it looks to keep DC's current hot streak going. While that number may not seem terribly big, there's no real cause for concern just yet.
Shazam, per the early tracking, is looking at a box office debut between $40 and $45 million. That's far less than what many Marvel movies bring in, typically speaking, on opening weekend, with Captain Marvel having just earned $153 million during its opening frame last weekend. And it's less than what Aquaman made on its opening weekend in December of last year, which debuted with $67.8 million domestically. But there are some key differences to note.
First off, Shazam reportedly carries a budget of just $80 million. That's roughly half of what it cost to make Aquaman, before marketing costs are factored in. Therefore, it needs to make less money to break even. Also worth noting; box office tracking has proved to be somewhat unreliable for these major blockbusters in recent years, with movies often outperforming expectations. Suicide Squad is a perfect example, and that was overcoming a wave of negative reviews.
On the flip side, early buzz for Shazam has been extremely positive. While full reviews haven't been released yet, if they follow suit with the social media reactions, this one should be riding a wave of strong buzz into its opening weekend. As such, that $40 million number could climb quite a bit. More importantly, solid buzz will help carry it for weeks to come beyond its opening.
David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) is in the director's chair. The movie centers on a young boy named Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who is gifted superpowers, not unlike those possessed by Superman, by a mysterious Wizard. By uttering the word Shazam, he turns into a powerful hero (played by Zachary Levi in that form), who has some growing pains in learning how to handle his newfound abilities, while also having to contend with the evil Doctor Sivana (Mark Strong).
Aquaman put DC back on the right track following the release of Justice League, garnering reasonably favorable reviews on its way to a staggering $1.14 billion global haul. Shazam looks to keep that positive streak going. The studio also has Joker coming out in October, which will be followed by Birds of Prey in February 2020 and Wonder Woman 1984 in June 2020. Even though DC's latest hero may not be arriving with a splashy $100 million debut, things are certainly looking up for the DC universe overall. This news was previously reported by Variety.