A new report comes out and blames James Gunn for the failure and lack of interest surrounding Shazam: Fury of the Gods which bombed at the box office and is the lowest-grossing DCEU movie.
Shazam: Fury of the Gods ended its box office run with a worldwide gross of only $132 million and a domestic gross of $57.5 million while the first movie released in 2019 finished nearly three times that with over $367 million.
In a report at The Wrap, the article states insiders believe James Gunn’s DCU reboot is in part to blame for Shazam: Fury of the Gods bombing (since a reboot is happening, why bother seeing Shazam?).
Insiders at Warner Bros. told TheWrap that meeting the $35 million projection mark would have been seen by the studio as a solid result, but believe that the upcoming reboot did a number on general audience interest that Gunn and Safran’s work will be able to overcome when it arrives.
Is James Gunn to blame?
Regarding the report, I would actually question how much James Gunn is to blame as it’s not like the first Shazam! was a huge success, as $367 million is nothing to write home about – especially for a superhero film – and it’s not like fans were begging for a sequel (especially that Superman Henry Cavill never got Man of Steel 2 which made a lot more money).
I also think since there hasn’t been a lot of interest surrounding the first film or the character, the first Fury of the Gods trailer didn’t help things, as I felt it really turned off the audience, and the director even said the dragon line part didn’t make its way into the final version of the film:
Is Gunn to blame? Maybe with only the small group of really hardcore DC fans, but when it comes down to it, lightning never strikes in the same place twice, at least for Shazam.
Director David F. Sandberg also filled in Redditors that he knew the movie wouldn’t be a big success and that he knew it “a long time ago,” so again, if Gunn is to blame, it’s a really small part of it:
“No worries. It’s not like this comes as a surprise. I saw where this was heading a long time ago. I’ll be alright though. I got paid all my money upfront [smiley emoji].”
Insiders hopeful for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and The Flash
While Shazam: Fury of the Gods bombed and so did Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, insiders for The Wrap are more optimistic about the upcoming releases of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (which also has the potential to flop as reports offer pre-sale tickets are lower than Eternals) and DC’s The Flash.
For Guardians of the Galaxy 3, the insiders offer it’s “the finale for both James Gunn’s time in Marvel and for some of the most popular superheroes still in the MCU lineup.”
For The Flash, which debuts next week at CinemaCon, the insiders offer the flick has “enjoyed strong hardcore fan buzz from its Super Bowl trailer and has the return of Michael Keaton as Batman to build up plenty of pre-release buzz that Black Adam and Shazam 2 never had.”
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 opens May 5, The Flash zooms in on June 16.