12:54pm PT by Pamela McClintock
'Shazam!' Tracking for $40M-$45M Bow; 'Pet Sematary' Could Unearth $25M-Plus
A comedic superhero and a supernatural cat are getting ready for their big-screen debuts.
Both Shazam! and Pet Sematary popped up on tracking Thursday, three weeks before they hit theaters on April 4.
From New Line and DC, Shazam is projected to collect $40 million to $45 million in its domestic opening, according to the major Hollywood services. That would mark one of the lower starts for a comic book adaptation from a major studio; at the same time, numbers could easily be revised upwards as New Line and parent studio Warner Bros. make their final marketing push.
Shazam cost roughly $100 million to produce before marketing, less than many studio comic book pics. As such, it doesn't have to do huge numbers to be a win. 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. Sandberg and New Line are counting on playing to kids in a big way and, along with Fandango, will try to build word of mouth via previews screenings later this month.
Pet Sematary, based on the Stephen King novel and a remake of the 1989 pic, is tracking to debut in the $25 million to $28 million range. The remake stars Jason Clarke as Dr. Louis Creed in the story of a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the Maine woods near the family’s new home.
Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow also star in Pet Sematary, which is set to make its premiere Sunday at SXSW. Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer directed.
Shazam! and Pet Sematary will roll into theaters one week after Disney debuts Tim Burton's event pic Dumbo on March 29. The live-action update of the classic animated film is tracking to bow to $50 million to $60 million domestically.
Jordan Peele's horror-thriller Us, which is set to hit theaters March 22, is tracking for a domestic launch of $40 million to $45 million.