It’s not just the domestic audiences that are turning their back on Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The superhero sequel is falling short of projections all across the world. The film was expected to open with around $85 million globally heading into its first weekend, but as things stand, it’s looking at a $65.5 million worldwide debut. Just last week, Scream VI made $67 million in its opening weekend globally.
Fury of the Gods grossed an underwhelming $30.5 million in its domestic opening weekend, and could mustered $35 million from overseas territories. By comparison, the first Shazam! made $53.5 million domestically and $158 million worldwide in its opening weekend back in 2019. It ultimately finished with $140 million domestically, and $366 million worldwide — a healthy enough haul, considering its lower-than-usual $100 million budget.
Fury of the Gods, on the other hand, reportedly cost $125 million to produce. And Warner Bros. didn’t exactly abandon it either. The studio delayed the film to avoid competition from Avatar: The Way of Water, and released it in over 4,000 domestic theaters. Fury of the Gods also received a rare day-and-date release in China, the world’s biggest movie market. But the Middle Kingdom has been notoriously redundant for Hollywood releases in the post-pandemic era. While most films don’t even secure a release due to strict censorship laws and restrictions on imported titles, the few that do aren’t performing at the level that was observed some years ago. Barring The Way of Water and Jurassic World Dominion, few Hollywood films have made an impact in China in the post-pandemic era.
Starring Zachary Levi as the titular superhero, Fury of the Gods could manage just $4.4 million in China, falling way short of the $30 million debut that the first film delivered. Mexico followed with a $4 million debut. Other top territories for Fury of the Gods include the U.K ($3 million), Indonesia ($1.6 million), Brazil ($1.6 million) and Australia (also $1.6 million).
Fury of the Gods is the 12th film in the beleaguered DC Extended Universe, which recently found new leadership in co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran. The duo will oversee the franchise’s future over the next few years, in an effort to make it more focused as compared to the reactionary nature that it had become infamous for over the previous decade or so. The Shazam films, both directed by David F. Sandberg, were intended as lighter alternatives to the more grim Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and even Suicide Squad. But as the series evolves, DC fans seem to be more interested in the future than holding onto the past, especially with titles that didn’t involve director Zack Snyder.
The current era of the DCEU will continue with the upcoming The Flash, Blue Beetle and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, before essentially being rebooted with Gunn’s Superman: Legacy. Fury of the Gods also stars Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou and Helen Mirren. You can watch our interview with Sandberg here, and stay tuned to Collider for more updates.