Shazam 2, also known as Shazam! Fury of the Gods has proven to be a disappointing sequel to its 2018 predecessor, Shazam!, as it became the worst-ever box office earner in the history of DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
Although the film features the return of Zachary Levi as Billy Batson, aka Shazam, it has failed to attract the same level of popularity as the first installment, resulting in a lackluster opening weekend earning of only $30 million at the domestic box office.
The lack of interest in Shazam! Fury of the Gods among moviegoers came as a surprise, especially after the first film's success, which grossed $363 million worldwide with a budget of under $90 million.
Unfortunately, this sequel's box office numbers have been far from impressive, marking a clear departure from the franchise's previous success.
Shazam 2 fails to captivate audiences: Ends its box office run at $133.4 million
Shazam 2, the sequel to the successful 2018 film, failed to live up to expectations. Despite the return of Zachary Levi as Shazam, the movie could not replicate the same excitement generated by its predecessor.
Furthermore, the DCEU has struggled with a lack of coherence, and the poor reception of Black Adam may have played a significant role in the lack of interest in Shazam 2.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods grossed a meager $133.4 million worldwide, over $200 million less than the original film. Additionally, the movie was outperformed by two films released simultaneously on HBO Max during the COVID-19 pandemic: Wonder Woman 1984 and The Suicide Squad.
While Warner Bros. surely did not expect such a result, it was not entirely surprising given the DCEU's lack of momentum.
The importance of continuity and connections in comic book movies: Lessons from Shazam 2 and the DCEU
Continuity and interconnected storylines have become crucial factors in comic book movies. Audiences crave a fun experience but expect connections to other films and characters. However, this has been a challenge for some franchises.
For example, the lack of connection between Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a glaring misstep. Black Adam, Shazam's main antagonist in the comics, had an origin movie released just months before Shazam 2; the two films are entirely disconnected. The result was a weak box office performance, emphasizing the importance of continuity in the cinematic universe.
Marvel Studios has excelled in building its cinematic universe by maintaining continuity and interconnecting storylines, while the DCEU has faced challenges. Despite the underperformance of Shazam 2, there is still hope for the future of the DCEU.
The Flash has received positive reviews and reactions, and Blue Beetle could be a low-risk sleeper. Additionally, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom could be a commercial success. However, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav focuses on James Gunn's Superman: Legacy and all future projects beyond 2023.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods may have disappointed the box office, but it is not a significant setback for the DCEU. The movie's lack of continuity and connections to other films emphasized the importance of these factors in comic book movies. With the right direction and a focus on continuity, the DCEU can still recover from its current state.
Fans of Shazam can stream the film on HBO Max starting May 23.