If it seems as though a new superhero epic has come to theaters every other month this year, you’d be right! Each of Marvel Studios 2019 entries has crossed over $1 billion at the box office, each currently finding spots in the top five highest-grossing films of 2019 thus far. Then there’s Shazam!. The only other film from the genre (besides the critical and commercial failure Dark Phoenix’s) scored $364 million globally. But the film’s star, Zachary Levim knows what you’re thinking and has this to say about the performance of his DCEU film:
I’ve seen some of this stuff bandied about on the interwebs, and people saying that if you look at the numbers that we did as a movie, that it pales in comparison to some other movies that did insane amounts. But the truth is, for an origin story of a niche DC character, I think we did fucking great. I think we did really good.
That’s right! It would be unfair to compare another studio film’s success to Marvel’s at a time when the studio is on a superhuman level compared to any other films, period. This year, the MCU had the benefit of Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home serving as bookends for its highest-anticipated film (and now the highest-grossing) of all time: Avengers: Endgame. So by association, those two films did get a boost for the MCU’s 23-movie culmination.
Shazam! was the lowest grossing DCEU film to date – quite a ways under 2017’s Justice League, which scored $657 million worldwide. Zachary Levi showed his level head about it during FAN EXPO Canada (via ComicBook), explaining how Shazam isn’t a hero most audiences are aware of. Even though the same can be said of Carol Danvers, the Captain Marvel movie was riding on MCU’s train of success, which has building trust with moviegoers for a decade with each new hit.
Shazam! came just as a resurgence for the DCEU seemed on the horizon with the massive waves Aquaman made over the holiday season. Aquaman had Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa and breathtaking underwater CGI landscapes to marvel at (pardon my ironic pun). Shazam! was also made on a relatively lower budget than most of its kind at about $100 million. Zachary Levi continued with these words:
I would say, a lot of times these movies, the first run of whatever these characters being introduced to the world, people have hesitations.There are a lot of people that had hesitations when it came to, ‘That geeky Chuck guy, he got to be Shazam?’ That’s right, motherfuckers!
Zachary Levi believes word of mouth contributed to the film’s success. Shazam! earned rave reviews and has reached more audiences since its recent home release. Warner Bros. was reportedly “very happy” with Shazam! and is looking to quickly move forward with a sequel, especially since the film’s child stars are growing up more everyday.