The debates over the box office results of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was quite all over the place, as the film faced a steep drop after its initial weekend. Yet, it still made a big splash that one expects from a Marvel Studios offering and fizzled out faster due to higher expectations on such projects and the fact that there’s always a Disney+ release around the corner, as taught in the past by how releases were handled.
Yet, it seems 2023 isn’t kind to superhero films in general as the latest DC film, Shazam! Fury of the Gods faced an even harsher box office release with one of the worst openings for a DC Extended Universe entry. With an $11.7M Friday, the film is projected to end at around $30M. That would put it quite a bit below the initially expected $35M to $40M. Many had believed the film had a chance to garner some momentum going into the weekend but it seems it has swiftly fizzled out.
What makes this hurt, even more, is that it’s quite a bit lower than 2019’s Shazam! which opened at $53.5M at the box office. It does have the same $100M price tag as the previous entry but with a B+ CinemaScore, the question will be how its legs perform. Many have used it as a way to get a feeling for where it’s going but its key audience families are still struggling to get back to theaters. It was a hope they might strengthen even Ant-Man‘s box office run as they had a much higher affinity with the film, but it seems they are still a market that has yet to find their way back.
Perhaps there’s a correlation between more family-friendly offerings and the recent drop in box office for animated releases. If you’re not a “must-watch” released in theaters, they simply won’t make the trip like with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish or even Minions: Rise of Gru last year. The box office is certainly doing better but not every target audience is quite where some might have hoped it would be. So, more adult and teen-driven releases like the recent successes of Scream VI and Creed III might be on the horizon.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter