- "Shazam!" is heading toward around a $50 million opening weekend, according to box-office projections.
- The superhero movie has already made over $9 million in preview screenings.
- It’s a hit with critics, and has a 93% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.
After the surprise, monumental success of "Aquaman," Warner Bros. and DC’s superhero movies are heading in the right direction. This weekend’s latest, "Shazam!," is poised to be another win.
The movie, about a boy named Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel) who inherits the powers of the Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) and turns into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) by shouting his name, is projected to open close to $50 million in its debut weekend in the US.
The movie raked in $5.9 million in Thursday night previews, according to The Wrap. The movie already made an impressive $3.3 million in early previews presented by movie-ticket service Fandango, so is looking at over $9 million in previews before it even enters the weekend.
Box Office Mojo is estimating that "Shazam!" will open to $48 million, but acknowledged it could make over $50 million. Similarly, BoxOffice.com analyst Shawn Robbins wrote in his box-office preview that the movie will open between $45 million and $55 million.
"As the superhero genre continues to drive the industry, DC films have generally developed a growing habit of over-performing against expectations — most recently ‘Aquaman’ ($67.9 million opening weekend) and ‘Wonder Woman’ ($103.3 million)," Robbins wrote.
"Aquaman" went on to gross $335 million in the US and over $1 billion worldwide. While "Shazam!" isn’t projected to be that big, Robbins said the movie could have strong legs until "Avengers: Endgame" hits theaters later this month.
"A generally clear runaway over the next three weekends leaves a wide open path for staying power to generate a strong multiple after opening weekend, especially given appeal to a wide age range," Robbins wrote.
"Shazam!" opens in most international markets this weekend, minus Japan, and is estimated to gross over $145 million worldwide, according to Deadline.
Critics have praised the movie, and it currently has a 93% Rotten Tomatoes critic score, tying "Wonder Woman" for the best-reviewed DC Extended Universe movie.
"With a tone that’s a mix of coming-of-age classics like ‘Big’ and ‘The Goonies,’ you should get ready for a fun time," Business Insider’s Jason Guerrasio wrote.
"At a time when Hollywood is choking to death on all the superhero films that studios keep ramming down its throat, here comes one that looks at the genre in a different light and reconceives it on a human level," Indiewire’s David Ehrlich wrote. "It doesn’t break the mold so much as it plays with how flexible the mold can be. Warm, witty, and bursting at the seams with great characters, ‘Shazam!’ is easily one of the most fun superhero movies ever made."
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