Not that superhero fatigue should be something to take lightly, but with the recent performance of Ant-Man 3 and David F. Sandberg’s sequel, will Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Flash make it worth our while?
Shazam! Fury of the Gods opened with $30.5 million in its debut, four years after its predecessor took a leap with $53.5 million right before Avengers: Endgame stormed town. That’s a 25% drop, even considering how movie theaters are (basically) back on the norm and an ever-so-slightly smaller theater count. Black Adam roared in with $67 million in its opening weekend last year before its overall performance told Warner Brothers, “Yeah, we need to start over…again.” Like with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, both sequels hurt their subgenres with forced irreverence and overabundance of mad-driven big blockbuster CGI finales. In this writer’s (untainted) opinion, both sequels were “fine” and should’ve done better than their predecessors.
Zachary Levi’s follow-up with the fun, quirky hero had a domestic opening that’s the worst of the DC canon (forgoing the simultaneous release of Wonder Woman 1984 and The Suicide Squad). What might’ve hurt its ambitions this time is audiences were mentally prepared for another fun ride with Shazam than anything consequential rather than a substantial hook. The fragmentation of the DC Universe has continued to stump its momentum. When news about Henry Cavill not returning to play Superman and James Gunn restarting with a new direction breaks out, folks are less inclined to believe anything remarkable will occur. Upon witnessing, they saw the cracks in these sub-franchisees and didn’t need much incentive to spread the word or go back for repeat viewings when they could wait a few months for it to hit VOD. A (not-so-spoiler) cameo from Gal Gadot’s presence as Wonder Woman leaves more questions than answers about the plan as we advance. The Flash and Aquaman 2 will paint the bigger picture, it seems.
$30.5 million is a fine opening, but it should’ve broken out.
In other news unrelated to DC, Scream 6 dropped 61% in its second weekend, bringing its domestic total to $76 million and $116 million worldwide. People are still pleased with the latest slasher feature, and it has been proven that it doesn’t need past veterans to progress. We’re still looking at a $155-165 million worldwide and supposedly an announcement for the seventh installment. Rewatching I Know What You Did Last Summer also reminds us that we’re awaiting a release for a reboot on that side; if Scream and Halloween can do it, then so can further slasher genre films.
Michael B. Jordan’s Creed 3 continues to shine and has now surpassed its predecessors’ totals with $127.7 million worldwide. Adam Driver’s 65 landed in fourth place with $5.8 million. The dinosaurs might be the selling point, but not so much as a benefit to its low box office totals that might dub it a disappointment.
And, Ant-Man 3 took fifth place with $4.07 million. Its $205 million domestic total should slither past its predecessor, but it will not reach the worldwide cumulative of both predecessors. A shaky start for Phase 5 of the MCU means Guardians 3 and The Marvels have to regain some ground if we want to put the thoughts of “superhero fatigue” to rest again. It may get to around $480 million worldwide, which might be the best-case scenario.
Next weekend sees the release of John Wick: Chapter 4 and A Good Person.