New Line’s Shazam! we hear is set to fly to a $40M-$45M start when it opens on April 5, a healthy opening in the marketplace after Captain Marvel‘s $153.4M, Us‘ anticipated $40M+ start next Friday and Disney’s Dumbo on March 28 which has a wild range from $58M to $75M (from some studio analysts). Hopefully some overindexing will go on here, in addition to Captain Marvel showering cash in the marketplace so 2019 can be course corrected: Despite Carol Danvers’ opening, domestic B.O. for the period of Jan. 1-March 10 at $1.79B remains 21% behind last year. Film finance sources are confident this year is bound to set another record surpassing last year’s $11.89B after Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: Episode IX debuts.
Keep in mind a few things about Shazam!: While some guys over 40 remember him from the 1970s TV series, and that nostalgia will work in his favor, the superhero isn’t largely known by millennials. Of course, the pic is the strongest with Men over 25 in First Choice on tracking. Nonetheless we hear the studio has high hopes that younger audiences will discover this David F. Sandberg-directed movie. Early previews have sparked plenty of positive convo on social and Warner Bros. as we announced yesterday is holding paid previews via Fandango on March 23. If the movie wasn’t good, believe me, the studio wouldn’t be holding paid previews. Shazam!, though it cost $100M before P&A reportedly, is not Aquaman, so the industry should go easy on expectations here for this DC superhero. In unaided awareness, the demo that studios typically buy TV ads off of, Shazam! is even at 21 in men under and over 25; females under 25 are at 17, which isn’t shabby.
Meanwhile, Paramount’s feature reboot of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary is looking at a mid $20Ms, possibly $30M start. The Kevin Kolsch-Dennis Widmyer’s directorial is closing the SXSW film festival. Unaided awareness for Pet Sematary is a bit stronger with women over men, however it’s first choice for men under/over 25.
Also opening on April 5 is STX historical drama The Best of Enemies about Civil rights activist Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson) who faces off against C.P. Ellis (Oscar winner Sam Rockwell), Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration. Tracking suggests a $7M opening.