$3.4 million in previews – the range

“Wrath of the Gods” might not be so furious. Warner Bros. and DC’s “Shazam” sequel took off on Thursday with $3.4 million at the domestic box office, following the original film’s 2019 preview.

The sequel to Zachary Levi’s superhero movie is smaller than its predecessor. The first “Shazam” film opened to $5.9 million on Thursday before opening with $53.5 million in April 2019. It grossed $140 million domestically and $366 million worldwide.

However, “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” is only expected to bring in $35-40 million. Each “Shazam” movie cost $100 million to produce, but that’s a significant drop from the original.

David F. Sandberg returned to direct “Shazam: Fury of the Gods,” another adventure for young Billy Batson, who can transform into a superhero by saying the word “Shazam.” Billy and his foster siblings, who also have Shazam powers, must face the daughter of Atlas, played by Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler. The cast also includes Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ross Butler, Djimon Hounsou and others.

In his review for VarietyChief film critic Owen Gleiberman wrote, “The evil is vanquished, the mythology is fulfilled, but the real story here is that a superhero saga that seemed to hold the potential for life-size weirdness and joy is squeezed into the mold of any other superhero franchise. The power that does it is real a force to be overcome.”

Despite lukewarm reviews, “Shazam” is expected to beat last week’s box office champion “Scream VI” and is the only new wide release this weekend.

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