New Line’s Covid-delayed DC sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods finally will hit theaters this weekend in 77 offshore territories and the U.S. with a global outlook between $80M-$85M — $35M of that coming from domestic.
The David F. Sandberg-directed pic previously had been scheduled to open on December 21, but Warner Bros decided in August that it wasn’t going to play second fiddle to Avatar: The Way of Water and moved the DC sequel to mid-March — where it now has access to Imax auditoriums as well as Dolby, PLF screens and motion seats. The total theater count for Friday is north of 4,300 locations. Previews start at 3 p.m. Thursday in 3,400 theaters. The L.A. premiere of the movie starring Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler is tonight, but Sandberg won’t be attending as he tested positive for Covid.
Families turned out for the first movie at 27%, and word is that they could rep even more this time around at 50%.
Fury of the Gods will roll out overseas between Wednesday and Friday in what is projected to be a $45M-$50M international start. Wednesday includes Korea among majors, but France is going two weeks later to take advantage of playing into Easter holidays. On Thursday, Shazam 2 notably hits Germany, Italy, Australia, Brazil and Mexico, while Friday adds the UK, Spain, Japan and China.
Overall, both overseas and domestic, Shazam 2 is bound to see a lower start than the 2019 original ($53.5M domestic, $102M WW), with a bit of that having to do with China running cold on Hollywood fare. Let’s see if the pic overindexes and beats tracking: Both Creed III and Scream VI blew away their projections with respective franchise-high starts of $58.3M and $44.4M. Also preventing a stampede here is that Shazam isn’t your typical dark DC property, rather a silly PG-13 movie.
In terms of overseas comps, next to the 2019 film, and with previews and Russia backed out, the start was $83.5M at today’s rates. If we remove China from the equation as well, the like-for-like launch was $55.5M at current exchanges. While Fury of the Gods is leading Friday presales in China, the same cannot be said for Saturday and Sunday. We’re looking at a potential $12M+ three-day there.
The hope here is that the family nature of Shazam 2 strikes a little bit of lightning in English-speaking and Latin American markets. The UK, Mexico, Australia and Brazil were among the best overall plays for Shazam! the first.
Cast members traveled to Rome and London for promotional events and screenings this month.
Paramount/Spyglass Media’s Scream VI (read the review) is looking at a 55% ease in Weekend 2 after a robust $3.66M Monday. The Radio Silence-directed sequel should land around $20M. MGM/United Artists Releasing’s Creed III (read the review) should do between $17M-$18M, -36%.