Blockbuster season has been starting earlier and earlier over the last few years, and what was once strictly reserved for the start of May (maybe mid-April, for bolder movies) can now start as early as February and March. CAPTAIN MARVEL has launched blockbuster season in a huge way, and as of next weekend, it seems every week is delivering a new potential hit, with DC’s SHAZAM! being the next big comic book outing set to dazzle moviegoers. Though not quite MARVEL numbers, the early box office projections are predicting a solid opening weekend of about $45-50 million for the movie about the boy who can become a superhero by saying the magic word – “please.” Nah, just kidding; it’s the one in the title.
The numbers come from outlets Deadline and Box Office Pro, and while they’re on the lower side when compared to other major comic book movie openings, and just a bit less than AQUAMAN’s $67 million opening last December, but it’s a healthy debut considering the time frame. SHAZAM! will come one week after the arrival of DUMBO, which is looking at a $60-70 million opening, while Jordan Peele’s US is also expected to rake in about $40 million from the weekend before that. Beyond that, we’re looking at this weekend, with CAPTAIN MARVEL set to repeat a win with a projected $60-75 million frame. So, in that context, SHAZAM! maintaining consistent business after a month of moviegoing fatigue from audiences would be rather impressive.
As well, there’s always room to grow. The character is not well-known to the modern generation of moviegoers, so it will have to rely on word of mouth, and so far, Warner Bros. seems to be very confident in their product. Holding a press screening and lifting the social media embargo one month early was a big sign WB likes what they have, and now it’s been announced they’ll screen the movie two weeks early via a Fandango event. This will get the word out early and could perhaps drive it towards a larger opening weekend.
Some of the more hardcore DC fans may be hoping for a much larger opening, but realistically, we should be looking towards a run more akin to something like 2015’s ANT-MAN (opening to $57 million). The character isn’t as known as others in its series, it comes off more like a comedy than a grand spectacle blockbuster, and it has a title that makes people go, “Wait, what’s this called?” That in mind, an opening anywhere within the current trajectory, even going toward the mid-$50 million-range is solid, and could finish well above $150 million domestically before AVENGERS: ENDGAME and the official start of summer come knocking.
SHAZAM! Starring Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Glazer and Mark Strong is in theaters April 5.