Shazam stumbled out of the Box Office top ten this week, languishing at number twelve with less than $140 Million to show for it’s domestic run to date. Which is abysmal for a superhero film, but considered somewhat of a success for a comedy. And I think therein lies the problem.
From the start, Shazam marketed itself as a comedy and not a real superhero movie. The first posters showed Shazam drinking a soda or smacking on gum and blowing a bubble. And the first commercials were all about well-done comedy shtick, but showed no real superhero daring do. Those action sequences didn’t appear until the last trailer, which was too-little too late.
Shazam got a whopping 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. And they called it, “a superhero movie that never forgets the genre’s real power: joyous wish fulfillment.” Which is good news! But the marketing department forgot the ‘superhero’ part. And putting comedic actor Zachary Levi in that comically overstuffed red suit, didn’t help bring in the box office dough. I mean, the film had a $53 million opening weekend, which is barely Detective Pikachu money. So clearly, the Superhero fans didn’t classify Shazam as a must-see event, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS A GOOD SUPERHERO MOVIE.
Hopefully, superhero fans will see it eventually, and realize that they should have made the trek to the cinema when they had the chance. But I hope Warner Bros takes note, and doesn’t make the same mistake again. Because while the film wasn’t a flop, it made $359 Million worldwide and only cost $100 Million, that’s not a real big win. And DC FILMS need all the wins they can muster to turn their luck around.