'Shazam!' is poised to be another box-office win for DC's superhero movies as it fine-tunes its strategy

Warner Bros.‘Shazam!’
  • “Shazam!” is heading toward a roughly $US50 million opening weekend, according to box-office projections.
  • The superhero movie has already made over $US9 million in preview screenings.
  • It’s a hit with critics, boasting a 93% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.

After the surprise, monumental success of “Aquaman,” Warner Bros. and DC’s superhero movies are heading in the right direction. This weekend’s latest, “Shazam!” is poised to be another win.

The movie, about a boy named Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel) who inherits the powers of the Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) and turns into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) by shouting his name, is projected to open with close to $US50 million in its debut weekend in the US.

The movie raked in $US5.9 million in Thursday-night previews, according to The Wrap. The movie already made an impressive $US3.3 million in early previews presented by the movie-ticket service Fandango, so it is looking at over $US9 million before the weekend even kicks off.

Read more: The DC movie franchise made a comeback with ‘Aquaman,’ and its new strategy will distinguish it from the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Box Office Mojo estimates that “Shazam!” will open with $US48 million but suggested it could make over $US50 million. Similarly, the Boxoffice.com chief analyst Shawn Robbins wrote in his box-office preview that the movie would open between $US45 million and $US55 million.

“As the superhero genre continues to drive the industry, DC films have generally developed a growing habit of over-performing against expectations – most recently ‘Aquaman’ ($US67.9 million opening weekend) and ‘Wonder Woman’ ($US103.3 million),” Robbins wrote.

“Aquaman” went on to gross $US335 million in the US and over $US1 billion worldwide. While “Shazam!” isn’t projected to be that big, Robbins said the movie could have strong legs until “Avengers: Endgame” hits theatres later this month.

“A generally clear runaway over the next three weekends leaves a wide open path for staying power to generate a strong multiple after opening weekend, especially given appeal to a wide age range,” Robbins wrote.

Read more: ‘Joker’ director says online chatter about his twisted origin movie hasn’t been accurate and shares first trailer, which evokes ‘Taxi Driver’

“Shazam!” is scheduled to open in most international markets this weekend, minus Japan, and is estimated to gross over $US145 million worldwide, according to Deadline.

Critics have praised the movie – so far it has a 93% Rotten Tomatoes critic score, tying “Wonder Woman” for the best-reviewed DC Extended Universe movie.

“With a tone that’s a mix of coming-of-age classics like ‘Big’ and ‘The Goonies,’ you should get ready for a fun time,” Business Insider’s Jason Guerrasio wrote.

“At a time when Hollywood is choking to death on all the superhero films that studios keep ramming down its throat, here comes one that looks at the genre in a different light and reconceives it on a human level,” IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote. “It doesn’t break the mould so much as it plays with how flexible the mould can be. Warm, witty, and bursting at the seams with great characters, ‘Shazam!’ is easily one of the most fun superhero movies ever made.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.