Warner Bros.’ quest to shake off residual Zack Snyder gloom from its superhero stable is no joke. Shazam! has not only turned out to be (according to our own Mike Ryan) a heck of a good time at the movies, but preview screenings are hinting that Zachary Levi’s take on Billy Batson will be as popular (and maybe even moreso) than Jason Momoa’s badass, fish-talking Arthur Curry. That’s at least one possible prediction that one can draw from early screenings of the DCEU’s newest installment, which has already delivered electric numbers.
It’s first useful to remember that Aquaman eventually pulled in over $1 billion at the global box office after holding early screenings for Amazon Prime subscribers. Shazam! did likewise in a pairing with Fandango, and the estimated take by Batson and his crew of foster kids washed Aquaman away:
WB’s upcoming release of Shazam! held a special preview event in conjunction with Fandango.com, from which it delivered an estimated $3.3 million. The figure tops the recent performance from How to Train Your Dragon 3, which brought in $2.6 million from Fandango screenings in advance of release and even Aquaman‘s $2.9 million from Amazon Prime screenings.
Not only that, but these screening seats were relatively limited in capacity, so it’s fair to assume that people snatched up these tickets at least a few days in advance — and before the embargo on Shazam! lifted on Saturday. In other words, the film’s current 93% fresh rating will only help matters ahead of game time in a few weeks.
Don’t feel too bad for Jason Momoa (he’s doing just fine, and Aquaman 2 is on the way for December 2022). Here, Shazam! screenings acted as lighthearted counterprogramming to Jordan Peele’s victorious Us for those who’ve already watched Captain Marvel. Folks are in a superhero-loving mood, and we’re on the cusp of blockbuster season (which moves up almost every year), so people were primed for superheroism combined with childlike wonder and enthusiasm. Again, it’s odd that we’re seeing two characters known as Captain Marvel in theaters at the same time, but of course, Shazam! must go by his catchphrase because, you know, copyright issues.
Shazam! arrives in theaters on April 5.
(Via Box Office Mojo)