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New Line Cinema’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods is tracking for a low-key domestic debut of $35 million to $40 million, according to first projections. More bullish box office analysts, however, believe it will match the first film.
The movie came on tracking Thursday. Among the services suggesting $35 million is NRG, Hollywood’s leading research firm, according to those with access to the data. Hollywood studios and tracking companies tend to be conservative in their estimates, as tracking has become fraught in the pandemic era. Numerous movies in recent months have opened well above tracking, or below.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods opens in theaters March 17 and is the second studio superhero pic of 2023 after Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which debuted last weekend in theaters across the globe.
The first Shazam!, starring Zachary Levi and Asher Angel in the lead roles, debuted domestically to $53.5 million in April 2019. It cost a reported $100 million to produce, far less than a usual Hollywood superhero tentpole. The family-friendly movie topped out at $366 million at the worldwide box office, including $140.5 million domestically and $43.8 million in China (the sequel recently landed a China release date).
The sequel follows Billy Batson (Angel) and his fellow foster kids, who are still figuring out how to balance being teenagers with their superhero alter egos. When the Daughters of Atlas, a vengeful trio of ancient gods, arrive on Earth, the kids are thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives and the fate of their world. Shazam! 2 stars franchise newcomers Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler, who take on the roles of goddesses Hespera, Calypso and Antaeus, respectively.
Shazam! 2 is also the first of four DC films due out this year that were made before James Gunn and Peter Safran took over as heads of DC Studios in November and began reshaping the upcoming slate. Safran is a producer on Shazam! The sequel is the first DC pic to hit theaters since Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav installed Gunn and Safran.
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