Saturday, May 18, 2024

Super Hero Disaster Eyed by Warner’s as $125 Mil “Shazam 2” Fails in Previews, Gets Rotten Reviews, Has Controversial Star


Uh oh. The whole Warner Bros-DC Comics world is an uproar anyway over the direction of their super hero movies, who’s running the show, etc.

Now they face a dire weekend as “Shazam: Fury of the Gods,” the sequel to a surprise hit from a couple of years ago, augurs for a disastrous weekend.

“Shazam 2” made just $3.4 million in previews last night. The first one made close to $6 mil on preview night only four years ago, and that was pre-pandemic.

The film also has rotten reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, teetering at 55% with reviewers and just 84% audience score. Whoops! How did that happen?

WB/DC is also having some PR difficulties after making director James Gunn, who directs Disney/Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” series, their chief. Now at DC, Gunn is cleaning house. He made himself the director of the next “Superman” movie and got rid of fan fave Henry Cavill. He’s also somehow ditched Ben Affleck as Batman. Fan boys know better than I about all this mishegos, but even Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins are out from Women Woman movies.

All this, plus Dwayne Johnson’s “Black Adam” won’t be back after failing to hit its box office goals.

Of course, part of the “Shazam 2” coming flop may have to do with star Zachary Levi. Back in January he appeared to be an anti-vaxxer, ripping Pfizer as “a real danger to the world.” On Joe Rogan’s right wing Spotify podcast, Levi also got in trouble for appearing to be anti-trans and a fan of right wing nut Jordan Peterson.

So this will be the final “Shazam” movie. Maybe Levi knew that and just let his conservative freak flag fly. Whatever the case, there will be little magic this weekend at the box office.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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