To the surprise of pretty much no one, Warner Bros. Pictures’ live-action superhero feature Shazam! debuted at the top of the box office, raking in more than $53 million for its opening weekend.
The film’s premiere ticket sales were slightly higher than pundits predicted, and were matched by positive reviews from professional critics and audiences alike. The film received an “A” grade from the latter, and 91% positive reviews from the former, putting it in second place among the best-reviewed films in the studio’s DC Extended Universe (following Wonder Woman and its 93% positive reviews).
Despite its strong reviews, the film’s opening weekend is the lowest for any film in the DCEU so far, coming in under the $67.8 million that Aquaman earned for its debut. However, with Aquaman currently the highest-grossing film in the DCEU with more than $1.1 billion worldwide and in second place among the franchise’s highest-grossing films domestically, the low opening weekend numbers probably aren’t too much of a concern for the studio.
|6.||The Best of Enemies||$4.5M||$4.5M|
|7.||Five Feet Apart||$3.7M||$41.5M|
|10.||How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World||$1.9M||$156.6M|
In second place, the second big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel Pet Sematary scared up $25 million in theaters for its premiere. That opening weekend is second only to 2017’s box-office juggernaut It among adaptations of King’s work — which is no small achievement, given how many films have been made from the prolific author’s stories.
Unfortunately, Pet Sematary didn’t fare nearly as well as Shazam! with critics or audiences. The film received a disappointing “C+” grade from audiences and a middling 61% positive reviews from critics.
The only other new release to crack the weekend’s top ten films was biographical drama The Best of Enemies, which debuted on the low side of expectations and received mixed reviews. Critics gave the film, which stars Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell, a mere 52% positive reviews. Audiences, on the other hand, gave it an “A” grade.
Other highlights — or possibly low points — from the weekend include a big fall for last week’s box-office champion, Dumbo, which dropped more than 60% in ticket sales from its opening weekend. Poor reviews and negative buzz have given the expensive, live-action Disney adaptation a tough path to profitability.
On the flip side, Captain Marvel became the seventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to cross the $1 billion mark last week, joining just 37 other films to do so. That it was able to do so in just five weeks is a testament to the film’s blockbuster status and success in the MCU.
This upcoming week’s biggest new release is Hellboy, a reboot of the popular comic book film franchise that casts Stranger Things actor David Harbour as its titular demon hero, replacing prior franchise star Ron Perlman. Also arriving in theaters is Missing Link, the latest stop-motion animated feature from Laika Studios, the studio responsible for Oscar-nominated features Kubo and the Two Strings and Corpse Bride, among other films.