After opening to $159.1 million around the world this weekend at the box office, it’s not a shocker to hear that New Line/DC’s Shazam! is being primed for a sequel. Deadline has confirmed the pic’s original screenwriter Henry Gayden is returning to work on part 2, based on Bill Parker and C.C. Peck’s comic. Director David F. Sandberg is expected to return as well as producer Peter Safran.
Film finance insiders believe that Shazam! should play for weeks off its positive word of mouth and A CinemaScore even as we get closer to Avengers: Endgame on April 26. Those who’ve seen Shazam‘s production cost of $102M-plus, plus its estimated global $120M-$130M distribution expenses spend, should turn a nice profit.
Like Marvel’s Ant-Man, Shazam! was a move by DC to expand its feature fare to families, the conceit by New Line being a body switch film like Big mixed with a superhero movie. Previous incarnations of the hero formerly known as Captain Marvel include a live-action TV series during the 1970s and the direct-to-video toon Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam.
Next up for Warners/DC is Todd Phillips’ The Joker, which takes DC to an R-rated tier. The trailer dropped last week and was all the buzz at CinemaCon.