The Shazam sequel opened the week of March 15,2023, to $30,111,158 over the opening weekend. That is about 23,500,000 less than Shazam! (2019) opening of $53,505,326 on April 3 of that year. This performance does not bode well for James Gunn and Peter Safran, named Co-Chairmen and CEOs of DC Studios, green lighting a Shazam 3 in the future plans of the DCU. Some wonder if the film was as good as the original movie, but most agree it was on par with the first Shazam release. So is this indicative of the direction that superhero films are going? We debate whether we’re truly seeing the first hints of Superhero movie fatigue after big Marvel and DC movies flopped this year.
Shazam: Fury of the Gods – March 26, about 11 days in the theaters.
Marvel’s release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on February 17th grossed $106,109,650 over the weekend and, after 5 weeks, has reached $466,891,000 worldwide. The Marvel brand has also suffered from the lack of people buying tickets for first-run movie releases. Movies making a billion dollars are rare today, with the only recent exception in James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water (December 2022), which grossed $2,306,159,618 worldwide. Even this extravaganza of a movie did not equal the original film in 2009, which reached $2,743,577,587 worldwide.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – 37 days/5 weeks after opening.
The DCU has suffered from inconsistent content and is now going in a new direction. Some have an issue with losing Henry Cavil as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman. The new lineup that Jame Gunn is going with in the new DCU may be the right move, but there will be a lot of growing pains until the current slate of DC movies has run out from the old leaders at DC Studios. The key is The Flash Movie which will change the tone of Gunn’s run of stories and perform a soft reboot of the DC superheroes. The story is based on The Comic series Flashpoint which changed the DC comics drastically.
So there is the factor of poor quality movies and pandemic restrictions hangover from a couple years ago, with many people choosing not to go to theaters unless they are really motivated by the release with the promise of good content. All of this leads us to where we are today. Like my grandma said years ago, “It will all come out in the wash.” Time will tell if the movie industry will rise to the challenge of post-pandemic times.