‘Shazam’ Does Its Magic as ‘Dumbo’ Deflates — Will It Be ‘Avengers’ to the Rescue?

IndieWire | 4/7/2019 | Staff
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“Shazam!” topped pre-opening estimates with a #1 showing at over $53 million. Combined with a good foreign debut, that brought the kids-oriented D.C. title to close to $160 million. In most territories, the Easter holiday should help sustain grosses, especially with a strong A Cinemascore (better than the most recent D.C. title, “Aquaman”).

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Stephen King remake “Pet Sematary” took second place with $25 million, also bettering predictions, while “The Best of Enemies” fell short with a $4.5 million take.

Average - Outcome - Films - Theaters - %

On average, it’s a good outcome for the three opening films. However, theaters saw an overall gross 10% lower than the same weekend last year, and the year-to-date gross continues to lag. Box office to date is $2.6 billion, compared to $3.1 billion this time last year.

Of course, we’re just 19 days away from the release of “Avengers: Endgame,” which is seeing colossal advance sales and has a real shot at setting an opening-weekend record. Yes, that will help, but last year’s “Infinity War” had the best opening weekend of 2018 at $257.7 million, and grossed $678.8 million in its domestic run. For the new Avengers outing to close the gap, it would need to make about $1.2 billion in its domestic release — $242 million more than the current record holder, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Shazam

“Shazam!”

Warner Bros.

Studio - Side - News - Shazam - Budget

On the studio side, there’s more good news from “Shazam.” Its reported budget of $90 million is about half of normal for many D.C. or Marvel films. It shows awareness of the need for universe expansion, and continues an evolution to a lighter tone. Warner Bros. smartly placed the film between two Marvel tentpoles, claiming a heavy spring vacation week.

That’s important because the film scored quite well...
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