Home Movies News ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ Box-Office Failure - Was James Gunn’s New DC Slate Responsible?

‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ Box-Office Failure - Was James Gunn’s New DC Slate Responsible?

Shazam 2 finished with a worldwide collection of only $133.5 million at the box office making it the worst-performing DCEU movie

Aayush Chaurasia - Wed, 17 May 2023 09:50:28 +0100 2169 Views
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As we all know, Shazam 2 has been a massive dud both from a critical as well as financial perspective. One might wonder why because anyone who stepped into the theatre (myself included) experienced a decent superhero entertainer that despite being very generic and predictable, had a wholesome storyline that would appeal to anyone privy to the family superhero film genre. ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ was made with a production budget of $110–125 million and was only able to collect $133 million worldwide at the box office.

Today, we will look at some of the reasons that probably led to Shazam 2 having such a disastrous run at the box office, so much so that it's already on OTT. Was it studio interference, poor marketing, audience response, or a little bit of everything? Read to find out.

Superhero Fatigue Situation During Release

The first Shazam was one of very few light-hearted DC releases. At a time when DC was known only for dark films with serious storylines and grim endings. Shazam felt like a breath of fresh air for the cinematic universe borrowing from Marvel's concept of a light-hearted family-friendly take. And it worked quite well.

The second time around though, the hype was non-existent because the superhero genre had a completely different atmosphere and outlook.

Post Infinity War Saga the MCU films plummeted in quality, and the same old superhero releases caused something that would be known as 'The Superhero Fatigue' wherein moviegoers often felt exhausted from the sheer amount of Superhero content that was being released. Shazam 2 was also a victim of this phenomenon since most moviegoers just weren't willing to watch another superhero film that looked so familiar and generic based on the trailers (especially considering how minimal the marketing felt). There was little to no hype surrounding the release. Just not enough people cared about Zachary Levi's superhero character to watch it in theaters.


Post-Release Marketing Chaos

After the film was released and wasn't doing very well there was an astonishingly embarrassing response from the cast. I obviously understand how the cast felt since they had poured their heart and soul into the project. Even the director, David F Sandberg, (someone I admire for his humble beginnings) is a passionate person and probably put a lot of effort into it. So feeling discontent and reacting so is understandable. But it is important to accept the audience's judgment rather than jump on Twitter and try to single-handedly convince people to watch the film. That's exactly what Shazam 2 Star Zachary Levi did. Right after the poor numbers came out, there were a slew of videos, tweets, and posts requesting the audience to watch the film a little too obstinately.

When that didn't pan out well enough, it appeared that Zachary Levi backed the rumors revolving around Dwayne Johnson snubbing the Shazam cameo in Black Adam. The rumors follow the narrative that Dwayne Johnson didn't want the Black Adam and Shazam clash but instead preferred to go against Henry Cavill's Superman on the big screen. He was pushing for it and didn't want a crossover with Levi's Shazam. This drama came into the limelight as Zachary Levi allegedly confirmed it.


DC's New Cinematic Universe with No Space for Shazam

Finally, we come to the major reason that led to the film's downfall. The announcement of James Gunn heading DC's venture for theatrical releases and universe building stated that he would be re-conning the current DC extended universe and would be establishing a new improved version of DC extended universe.

It was something that some of the audience liked while others absolutely hated since this meant that the return of Henry Cavill as Superman was once again axed. The entirety of the DCEU getting the axe also meant that most of the superheroes are going to be recast as the makers want a 'fresh start'.

Amid all these announcements and statements about a new cinematic universe and a fresh start, the audience members and fans already began theorizing on what was to come much later after movies like Shazam 2 have been released. Nobody cared much about this film since they knew it had no future going about the new cinematic universe. The poor marketing also demonstrated the lack of faith in the project.

If the announcements had been done after they had at least released the last of their DCEU lineups, maybe the strike wouldn't have been as fatal.

It is clear though that all of the little things contributed to this film's failure at the box office, the lack of interest by the audience, the studio not pushing much marketing for the project, and the weird method of handling critique through Twitter, it all resulted in the dud.




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