DC's Shazam! dominated the US box office over the weekend striking a solid $53 million for its first three days. The Zachary Levi led superhero movie went out of its way in its marketing to ramp up the fun-factor and separate itself from the rest of the wider DC universe.
In a similar way to how Marvel spun a lesser known property like Guardians of the Galaxy into box office gold, DC has done a great job selling the unique concept of Shazam! As formulaic David F. Sandberg's (Lights Out) might be, the game cast and playful tone (scattered with unexpected horror) are just too energetic not to enjoy. Internationally, Shazam! generated just over $100 million for a global debut of $158 million, it's a respectable start and one that confirms that audiences are beginning to forget about Justice League.
For the majority of most moviegoers, the hot ticket this month is Avengers Endgame. The culmination of the last eleven years worth of Marvel as we know it is already tracking a record-breaking opening weekend. So much so that when tickets were available to pre-order, the demand was so high that it crashed the site.
Elsewhere in the US top ten, Paramount's Pet Sematary remake came in second place with $25 million for the weekend. Disney's Dumbo suffered a steep drop in its second week, adding $18.2 million to its takings, the remake has made just $76 million domestically. Directed by Tim Burton, the costly live-action take on Disney's beloved animated classic has fallen short of expectations with a current global tally of $215 million. Disney has three more live-action remakes on the schedule this year with The Lion King, Aladdin, and Maleficent 2. Is the tepid response to Dumbo a sign that audiences are losing interest in live-action remakes? We'll get a clearer idea next month when Guy Richie's Aladdin materialises in cinemas on May 22 (UK).