Shazam! Fury of the Gods star Rachel Zegler took to social media over the weekend to lament what she called “senselessly mean” reactions to the film. The DC sequel had a lackluster opening at the global box office, landing with $65.5M worldwide and currently carries a 52% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
Posting on Twitter, Zegler wrote, “Some people out there and just being… senselessly mean. And it’s unnecessary. And I know, I know, ‘If you can’t handle the heat…’ and all that nonsense, and you’re right. But our film is actually very good, it’s just cool to hate on fun nowadays. That’s okay. We’re good.”
While the movie did not win favor with critics, the Rotten Tomatoes audience score is currently 88%.
Zegler, who broke out in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, plays Greek goddess Anthea in the David F Sandberg-directed Shazam 2 which stars Zachary Levi as the titular superhero. She encouraged audiences to “give it a chance”:
The New Line/DC/Warner Bros film was not expected to match its 2019 predecessor’s debut, but still fell shorter than expected. As Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro reported, Shazam 2’s inability to fly at the box office has largely to do with the fact that there’s no want-to-see among core DC fans in regards to the sequel. It’s not part of a connective tissue in the DC universe, nor was it ever, and that’s a problem that DC Bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran are looking to fix.
Internationally, there was some uptick for families over the weekend, but it wasn’t enough to bridge a gap. In China, an increasingly cold-shoulder approach of audiences to Hollywood fare did not help the case with Fury of the Gods grossing just $4.4M despite getting a day-and-date release there. This is part of a concerning trend in the world’s second biggest box office market where (outside of Avatar) folks have lately shied away from Hollywood titles. Interestingly, Shazam 2 has an 8.8 audience score on Maoyan whereas the first movie, which bowed to $30M in the market in 2019, ended with a 7.9. On Douban, it had a higher score going into the frame than the original, but is now tied with it at 6.2 from critics.