Shazam 2 opened with the third lowest numbers for a DCEU film as it only made $30.1 million at the domestic box office on its first weekend. As far as the worldwide numbers are concerned, it currently stands at $68 million in total and might end up as the lowest-grossing DCEU movie.
Considering the post-pandemic trend of a massive second-weekend drop, the same outcome is expected for Shazam! Fury of the Gods. It was produced on a reported budget of $125 million, and a sizable amount would have gone to marketing the movie as well. So, with Shazam 2 probably failing to go past even $150 million by the looks of it, Warner Bros. Discovery has a massive bomb on its hands.
But why has the film performed so poorly? Here are 9 reasons why Shazam 2 has already failed at the box office.
The DCU Reboot killed Shazam 2
The first and foremost reason for Shazam 2 being a flop is James Gunn’s announcement of a rebooted DC Universe. People have known for months that the old DCEU is coming to an end. Even until Shazam 2’s release, James Gunn and Peter Safran haven’t confirmed whether the Shazam-Fam will have a future or not.
The two CEOs have always claimed that the Shazam franchise will only continue if Fury of the Gods is successful. So, most people lost interest in it knowing that the franchise has no future in the new DCU. Sadly, the same could happen for the next 3 DCEU films coming in 2023.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods was initially set for a December release where it would have only competed against Avatar 2. While that was a massive movie in itself, there was still a chance for other movies to make money along with it because the Holiday period barely had anything else to offer.
Instead, Warner Bros. felt cold feet and pushed the film to March, where it is competing with Creed 3, 65, Scream 6, John Wick Chapter 4, and Dungeons & Dragons. Releasing it in such a cluttered market almost felt like Warner Bros. sent it to die.
Also Read: Shazam 2 Box Office Collection: Will it be the Final DCU Movie For Zachary Levi?
Back when the second trailer of Shazam 2 was released, many fans complained that it almost showed the entire film. While that may not have been entirely true, the latter stage of marketing also revealed Wonder Woman’s small cameo in the film. So, many people believed that they had already seen too much, and could wait for its streaming release.
This is also true. Sad, but true. How much that actually affects the box office is anyone’s guess. But I think the biggest issue we’re having is marketing. This is a perfect family movie, and yet a lot of families aren’t aware of that. Which is just a shame. 🤷♂️ https://t.co/Fpw6Ja384F
— Zachary Levi (@ZacharyLevi) March 21, 2023
On top of that, Zachary Levi also believes that the marketing campaign wasn’t clear on the fact that this was a “Family Movie.” So, most families didn’t show up to support the movie either.
Too Many Mediocre Superhero films
Following the pandemic, there have been too many ordinary and bad Superhero movies including Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow, Eternals, Morbius, Black Adam, Thor: Love and Thunder, and quite recently, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. There are communities who may have liked these films too. But it’s needless to say that many of them lost money and didn’t garner the kind of interest that they should have. Many fans would even agree that these films were bad!
After seeing so many bad movies in recent times, most people gave into the Superhero fatigue and didn’t show any interest in another popcorn entertainer like Shazam 2. Fans have become used to seeing massive crossover events, realistic thriller stories, and high-octane action in the Superhero genre. Unfortunately, Shazam 2 had neither to support its good-ish story.
The Critical Verdict
Because there have been so many average Superhero movies, the critics found no newness in Shazam 2, despite its story having a lot of heart in it. Since the critics had already berated the film before it came out, their verdict led to even more people losing interest in the movie. Hence, it opened with numbers even lower than Morbius.
Also Read: Fans Demand Zachary Levi Step Down for a Younger Shazam Actor After $125M Sequel Failure: Cavill and Affleck are gone, Shazam should be too
No Connectivity with Black Adam
Warner Bros. Discovery is luckier than Disney/Marvel as they have the rights to all their characters. And yet, the studio isn’t willing to use them properly to set up crossovers and stronger connections between stories. Zachary Levi recently revealed that he wasn’t allowed to cameo in Black Adam, and Dwayne Johnson didn’t want to cameo in Shazam 2 either.
On top of that, no JSA characters were allowed to cameo, which led to Emilia Harcourt’s presence in the end credits scene. Despite Shazam and Black Adam being so similar and connected in the comics, they barely show any major connections in the films. And because of that, no hype was built for both of them. When WB or the creatives don’t care enough about Shazam, then why would the audience?
Not Enough Wonder Woman or Other Heroes
Firstly, the Wonder Woman cameo was already spoiled to sell more tickets. But that still didn’t do any good because Wonder Woman is barely there in the film. Instead of appearing at the very end just to make a joke, she should have been involved in the final battle just as she was in Batman V Superman.
It also doesn’t make sense that upon seeing a massive dome in Philadelphia, none of the Justice League members or JSA heroes showed up to help. Director David F. Sandberg wanted Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck to appear as Superman and Batman, but their cameos were denied. Shazam isn’t a huge character, but his importance could have been raised by using other heavy hitters. So again, if Warner Bros. doesn’t care enough about Shazam, then why would anyone else?
Lack of Big-Name Actors
Shazam 2 has quite a lot of talented actors in it. But none of them, including Zachary Levi, are the kind of box office draws that would pull in a huge audience just by their name. So, the usage of Shazam alongside other big names like Henry Cavill or even Dwayne Johnson could have helped the movie a lot.
Also Read: Shazam 2 Will be Released on HBO Max After the Worst DCU Opening of $30 Million That Might Cancel the Franchise
Early Digital & Streaming Release
Just after its arrival, Shazam! Fury of the Gods already has an Amazon Prime Video digital release scheduled for April 18. That’s just 32 days after the theatrical release. And it’s easy to predict that the streaming release of Shazam 2 on HBO Max will also follow a month later.
So, given that the film will be available in the comfort of people’s homes soon after its theatrical release, many would be inclined to skip it and maybe watch other films releasing in the same widow.
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