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Billy and Freddy enjoying the powers of Shazam

While a different Captain Marvel is currently enjoying massive box office success, Shazam, the superhero formerly known as Captain Marvel is set to bolt into theaters in only a few short weeks. The long-range tracking had Shazam! headed to an opening weekend of about $48 million, but it looks like the latest DCEU superhero film might make a little bit less money than we thought.

The early tracking is in on Shazam!, and the Zachary Levi superhero flick is expected to land between $40 million and $45 million when it opens in April according to Deadline. This number is in the same basic range as the long-range tracking, but as we get closer to release the tracking should be more accurate and based on that, it looks like Shazam! might make less than we thought by as little as a few million and as high as $8 million.

Overall, it looks like Shazam! will land somewhere in the $40 million to $50 million range opening weekend. This would be the lowest domestic opening for a DCEU film to date behind last year’s Aquaman, which opened to almost $68 million. However, it would still be a solid debut for Billy Batson, in part because the film only cost $100 million before print and advertising.

Tracking is prediction, not prophecy, as proven by the fact that Captain Marvel was at one point tracking at a $100 million opening and we all saw how that turned out. There are actually a lot of reasons to be optimistic that Shazam! could overachieve.

Currently, the worst domestic opening weekend in the DCEU is Aquaman and that film went on to become the universe’s most successful film overall. It proved to have strong sea legs and major international appeal, propelling that film to over $1 billion at the box office. Opening weekend isn’t everything and the DCEU is on a roll. Of course, Aquaman had the benefit of greater name recognition among audiences and an introduction in Justice League.

Shazam! might not have quite the same level of spectacle that works so well overseas as the Atlantean, but the film is getting a day-and-date release in China in the same time frame that Ready Player One found so much success last year. It is also looking likely that Shazam! will have great word of mouth and the studio is hoping that younger audiences unfamiliar with the character will still find the film.

The early reactions are in for the DCEU’s latest, and it is apparently every bit the charming delight you would want and the trailers have made it out to be. Warner Bros. seems to have real confidence audiences will feel this way as well and is holding paid preview screenings on March 23 to get the buzz and conversation going early for the movie.

We’ll see how it turns out when Shazam! opens in theaters on April 5. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the biggest movies headed your way this year.

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