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Underwhelming ‘Shazam!’ tops box office

Not much for cinephiles to get excited about

Zachary Levi returns to the titular role in DC’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
Greg W. Locke

Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published March 22, 2023

David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the latest effort from the DC Crew, took the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office last weekend, bringing in $30.5 million over its first weekend of release.

I read the synopsis and scrolled the Wikipedia page for the film and I just can’t care about this one at all. I’m sure it has some sort of appeal. I just can’t imagine what it is. A boring old white guy wearing tights while he “fights the Daughters of Atlas.” Wow, cinema. 

This is, of course, Dump Season, where the studios put out films they don’t have much stake in. With that in mind, look for Shazam! to fizzle out in a few weeks and hardly ever be talked about again.

Also at the Box

The lousy Scream VI took the No. 2 spot over its second weekend of release, bringing in another $17.5 million, bringing its 10-day worldwide sales total to $116 million. I went on opening day because, well … all the Scream films to that point had been fun, and some of them have even been good. Not this one. I feel safe suggesting that this is the worst of the franchise. 

Creed III continued to roll, taking the No. 3 spot over its third weekend, bringing in another $15.4 million, upping its 17-day worldwide sales total to $224 million. I thought the third act of the film was flimsy and off, but really enjoyed the first two. I wish they’d gone much deeper with the friendship between the two leads since the two actors clearly have a lot of chemistry. 

Rounding at the top five was the Adam Driver-led 65 at No. 4 spot with $5.8 million and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at No. 5 with another $4 million. Quantumania is being characterized as the biggest failure the MCU has seen in years, with terrible reviews and (only?) $462 million in worldwide sales. Here’s hoping we get Paul Rudd back to doing real movies again.

New this week

This weekend will likely be all about one film, and that film is called John Wick: Chapter 4

The three-plus hour action epic is being written up as one of the best-produced action films of recent memory, with some said-to-be-groundbreaking stunt and choreography work. I believe it. 

I’m not a huge John Wick fan, but I do get the appeal. Colored lights. Shiny people. Cool faces. Sick fight moves. Weapons. I get it, OK?


I was scrolling through the release calendar for the next few weeks and, well, things aren’t looking so great for my fellow cinephiles. 

There’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves on March 31 that looks like a terrible swing at a new franchise. There’s, not kidding, The Super Mario Bros. Movie coming April 5, and Sweetwater set for an April 14 release. 

Two films that might be worth looking forward to are Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up starring Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, and Andre 3000, and Brit McAdams’ Paint, a comedy starring Owen Wilson and kinda/sorta based on Bob Ross, at least aesthetically. Looks promising but also maybe really bad. 

Mostly, if I were you, I’d be looking forward to Showing Up.


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