Warner Bros/New Line/DC’s sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods hit early tracking Thursday and surprised many with a low projection of $35 million, which is under the first installment’s $53.5M opening in 2019.
Realize it’s still early, and Warner Bros hasn’t fully fire-breathed its marketing campaign yet. The odd thing is that tracking was comping the sequel to a number of big openers including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, the first Shazam!, and Black Adam — all debuted higher than Shazam 2‘s projection. The first trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods was first unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con last summer.
Warners pushed Shazam 2 out of Christmas, away from Avatar: The Way of Water so that it could grab all the premium and Imax screens wisely for its March 17 release date.
The sequel, which stars Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, Rachel Zegler and Djimon Hounsou among others, is over-indexing with guys on tracking now. David F. Sandberg returns as director off a screenplay by Chris Morgan and Henry Gayden.
The first Shazam! made $140.4M domestic, $366M worldwide and netted a profit of $74M after all ancillaries.
It was revealed earlier this week that Warner Bros. would be sneaking its anticipated DC movie The Flash at CinemaCon at the end of April. DC co-chairman James Gunn has spoken highly about that movie as re-setting the DC universe and one of the best comic book films of all time.