**Blogger’s Update (03/16): My Shazam! estimate continues to fall as I’m taking it down from $32.9M to $27.9M.
Blogger’s Update (03/15): Two days before its premiere, I’m significantly lowering my estimate from $42.9M to $32.9M
Arriving four years after its predecessor was a solid hit with critics and audiences, Shazam! Fury of the Gods hopes for box office luck and plenty o’ green beginning March 17th. The DCEU title finds Zachary Levi returning to the superhero role with Asher Angel (as alter ego Billy Batson), Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, and Djimon Hounsou back from the 2019 original. Newcomers to the franchise include Rachel Zegler, Lucy Liu, Meagan Good, and Helen Mirren. David F. Sandberg is again in the directorial chair.
Shazam! managed to slightly exceed its forecasts when it earned $53 million in its premiere with a $140 million eventual gross. Last fall’s spin-off Black Adam climbed with $67 million out of the gate and a $168 million domestic haul (the presence of Dwayne Johnson provided an assist).
Early tracking last week indicated potential trouble for the sequel. Some estimates had Fury as low as $35 million. That seems unlikely. In 2023, sequels are managing to build upon previous installments. Creed III and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania are recent examples.
That said, Ant-Man has not been a runaway success compared to expectations. Moviegoers could be experiencing a little sequelitis and comic book adaptation fatigue by the time this hits. And while Shazam! was well-received, I wouldn’t say it’s beloved (similar to Ant-Man).
I’ll project that this doesn’t match what part 1 accomplished and fall about $10 million under it.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods opening weekend prediction: $27.9 million (UPDATED PER ABOVE)