'Shazam!' Projected For $40 Million Opening Weekend

Up next for DC Entertainment is the Zachary Levi starring Shazam, which has already earned rave early reviews from press screenings, and now Warner Bros. latest entry in its DC movie universe seems poised for a stellar showing at the box office on opening weekend. Granted, it will take a lot to follow DC's last hit, the Jason Momoa and Amber Heard starring Aquaman, which grossed over a $1 billion worldwide. According to new estimates though, Shazam will get off the ground to quite a start when it debuts to the public next month to the sound of $40 million in ticket sales (via Variety).

Early word of mouth has been quite positive for the new film, which features Levi and Asher Angel playing an adult and young version of Billy Batson. The film will follow a similar marketing strategy to Aquaman, which released in theaters two weeks ahead in a special screening campaign. In Aquaman's case, the Amazon screening helped build even more buzz, and WB is hoping this campaign (through Fandango) will have a similar effect.

Shazam does not need to imitate Aquaman's gaudy numbers though to be considered a success. The film only cost $80 million to make compared to Aquaman's $160 million budget, so it should have a quicker route to profitability even when advertising is included. WB is hoping to continue its momentum from Aquaman and use it to build itself a great foundation going forward, as it also has the Joaquin Phoenix Todd Phillips Joker film ready to go later this year. 2020 will have Wonder Woman 1984 up on deck, which should only continue that trend, but 2019 is a pivotal year for DC's movie slate.

As for Shazam, the film will be going up against the anticipated Pet Sematary remake based on Stephen King's popular book and a drama titled The Best of Enemies. While hype is high for Pet Sematary, we're betting Shazam will have a tough time not coming in #1 at the box office that weekend.

You can find the official description for Shazam below.

"Billy Batson is a streetwise 14-year-old who can magically transform into the adult superhero Shazam simply by shouting out one word. His newfound powers soon get put to the test when he squares off against the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana."

Shazam hits theaters on April 5th.

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