7:40am PT by Pamela McClintock
Box Office: 'Shazam!' Zooms to $53.5M Bow; 'Pet Sematary' Digs Up $25M
The kid-friendly Shazam! easily topped the weekend box office with $53.5 million from 4,217 cinemas in a second consecutive win for DC's superhero stable following Aquaman. Including previous sneaks, the movie's early North American total stands at $56.8 million.
Overseas, the $100 million movie is likewise off to a strong start, earning $102 million from 79 markets for a global weekend haul of $155.5 million. China led with $30.9 million; however, the film saw a steep drop on Saturday, suggesting weak word of mouth.
While it may not have broken any records in its opening, Shazam!'s overall performance no doubt launches a new franchise for New Line and DC.
The pic, buoyed by glowing reviews and an A CinemaScore, was powered by younger moviegoers. More than half of the audience was under the age of 25, including nearly a third under age 17, according to PostTrak. By way of comparison, 46 percent of those turning out to see Captain Marvel on opening weekend were under 25. Males made up 65 percent of ticket buyers for Shazam!, which is rated PG-13.
The seventh title in the DC Extended Universe stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, a teenager who only has to utter the word "Shazam!" to be transformed into an adult superhero, played by Zachary Levi. Mark Strong, Grace Fulton, Jack Dylan Grazer and Djimon Hounsou co-star in the film, which was directed by David Sandberg, who helmed the horror hits Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation.
Paramount's Pet Sematary, a remake of the 1989 original, also scared up strong business in its domestic debut, earning $25 million from 2,585 locations. That marked the second best start for a Stephen King adaptation behind It ($123.4 million), not adjusted for inflation.
The R-rated horror pic skewed male (54 percent), while 75 percent of ticket buyers were 35 and under, proving the film wasn't just a nostalgia play. Pet Sematary earned a C+ CinemaScore, not uncommon for the genre.
Internationally, Pet Sematary opened to $17.5 million from 46 markets for a global start of $42.5 million against a relatively modest $21 million budget (that doesn't include marketing).
The movie, directed by Dennis Widmyer, stars Jason Clarke as Dr. Louis Creed in the story of a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the Maine woods near his family’s new home. Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow also star.
Dinged by Shazam!, Tim Burton and Disney's family film Dumbo fell a steep 60 percent in its second weekend to $18.2 million for a disappointing 10-day domestic total of $76.3 million. Overseas, it fared better, earning $39.6 million from 55 markets for a foreign tally of $137.8 million and a global cume of $213.8 million.
Dumbo came in third, followed by Jordan Peele and Universal's horror hit Us, which crossed the $200 million mark globally in its third weekend after earning another $13.8 million domestically for a North American tally of $152.4 million and a foreign cume of $64.2 million. That puts the film's total at $216.6 million to date.
After crossing the $1 billion mark at the global box office last week, Disney and Marvel's superhero blockbuster Captain Marvel came in No. 5 in North America with $12.7 million in its fifth weekend for a total of $374.1 million. Overseas, the female-led pic earned an additional $14.1 million for a foreign tally of $663.6 million and $1.04 billion worldwide. Captain Marvel now rests at No. 9 on the list of top-grossing live-action comic book adaptations.
The weekend's third new wide offering, The Best of Enemies, came in No. 6 with a muted $4.5 million from 1,705 locations.
The 1971-set drama stars Taraji P. Henson as a civil rights activist and Sam Rockwell as a member of the Ku Klux Klan who face off over school integration in Durham, North Carolina, and ultimately become allies.
Best of Enemies, from first-time writer-director Robin Bissell, drew generally poor reviews. Audiences liked the movie better, giving it an A CinemaScore. Astute Films financed the movie, with STXfilms handling marketing and distribution.
Elsewhere, the teen drama Five Feet Apart enjoyed another narrow decline, falling 40 percent in its fourth weekend to $4.5 million from 2,484 theaters for a domestic total of $41.6 million, the third-best showing of all time for CBS Films behind Last Vegas ($63.9 million) and The Woman in Black ($53.5 million). Overseas, it earned $4.1 million from 39 markets for a foreign total of $21 million and $67.6 million globally.
The anti-abortion pic Unplanned fell 50 percent in its second weekend as it upped its theater count from 1,000 locations to 1,516. The film — which has drawn personal praise from Vice President Mike Pence — grossed $3.2 million for a pleasing 10-day domestic total of $12.5 million for Christian distributor Pure Flix.
Bleecker Street's terrorist drama Hotel Mumbai, starring Dev Patel and Armie Hammer, earned $1.8 million in its third weekend from 930 locations for a North American total of $6.4 million.
Matthew McConaughey's The Beach Bum continued to get submerged in its second weekend, grossing a mere $494,063 from 1,055 theaters for a 10-day domestic total of $3 million for distributor Neon.
At the specialty box office, Neon had better luck with the Aretha Franklin documentary Amazing Grace, which posted a location average of $12,000 upon officially opening in eight cinemas after an awards qualifying run late last year.
Among other limited offerings, Amazon Studios debuted Mike Leigh's Peterloo in three theaters and reported a location average of $10,142.
Claire Denis and A24's High Life, a sci-fi epic starring Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche, scored the top location average of the weekend — $25,007 — upon debuting in four theaters.