Zachary Levi reacts to ‘Shazam! 2’ flop: ‘The biggest issue we’re having is marketing’

·3 min read

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ had an unsuccessful theatrical release this past weekend. According to Deadline, the DC superhero sequel opened to $65.5 million globally, substantially below the $158.6 million global bow for the original “Shazam” back in 2019. With a production budget of over $110 million and another reported $100 million in marketing costs, “Shazam 2” is on track to lose a significant amount of money for Warner Bros. 

Star Zachary Levi has publicly postulated two reasons why “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” might have underperformed. One is that fans of Zack Snyder – the director who previously oversaw a large chunk of the DC cinematic universe but whose vision has been scrapped as DC moves forward under new leaders James Gunn and Peter Safran – are staying away from “Shazam 2” to protest the Warner Bros. decision to abandon the Snyderverse. But the main reason is that the movie’s marketing isn’t reaching the people who might enjoy it the most. 

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Replying to a fan on Twitter, Levi said that it was “Sad, but true” that Snyder fans were apparently rooting for the film’s failure. But “how much that actually affects the box office is anyone’s guess,” he wrote. “But I think the biggest issue we’re having is marketing. This is a perfect family movie, and yet a lot of families aren’t aware of that. Which is just a shame. 🤷‍♂️” 

It’s not that the movie wasn’t promoted, it’s more that the movie’s marketing didn’t push it as a family movie – its trailer ran before the R-rated horror movie “Scream VI,” for example. 

Levi wasn’t the only person involved in “Shazam!” to weigh in on the film’s lackluster reception. In addition to its failure at the box office, it also received largely negative critical reviews, with a 53 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Director David F. Sandberg wrote that he was surprised at the negative response because he thinks it’s “a good film.” He added that he is done with superhero movies for now, and looks forward to “disconnecting from the superhero discourse online.”

Star Rachel Zegler echoed Sanberg’s defense of the film. “Hey, our film is actually really good!” Zegler wrote. “But mostly I just absolutely loved making it and the people I met whilst doing so. Go see it! Give it a chance. We have an 85% audience score for a reason.”

“Some people out there [are] just being… senselessly mean,” she added. “And it’s unnecessary. And I know, I know, ‘If you can’t handle the heat…’ and all that nonsense and you’re right. But our film is actually very good. It’s just cool to hate on fun nowadays. That’s okay. We’re good.”

Fingers can be and will be pointed, and in some ways “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” was set up to fail. But at the end of the day, for any number of reasons, audiences all over the world agreed that “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” wasn’t a must-see.

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