DC fans are getting excited for what many experts predict will be a smash hit. Shazam! is the latest superhero movie in the DC fandom, and the reviews are looking good.
According to Deadline, a preview screening of the film brought in $3.3 million in gross sales. The number is particularly impressive because the previews were screened at only about 1,200 theaters.
To put that number into comparison, How To Train Your Dragon earned $2.6 million in preview revenues, Aquaman got $2.9 million, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle drew $1.8 million.
Although preview numbers offer no guarantee of box office success, they are often a strong predictor. For example, How To Train Your Dragon made nearly $500 million worldwide, Jumanji flew to nearly $950 million, and Aquaman stunned with a mammoth $1.15 billion.
In addition to the strong numbers, Shazam! is currently certified “fresh,” with a rating of 91 percent on the movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.
Per Cinema Blend, star Zachary Levi, who plays Shazam, has been enthusiastic about the movie from the start.
“I can tell you that I’m out of my mind excited for this project! I love that I get to play a superhero who is really a 14-year-old kid inside. I’ve always been a fan of the movie Big, and I feel like this is my Big. That I get to do it as a superhero is double trouble awesome.”
The plot follows young troublemaker Billy Batson, who discovers that he can turn into an adult superhero by shouting the words “Shazam!” Billy must then battle Thaddeus Sivana, an evil scientist who is after Billy — and Shazam’s — superpowers.
In addition to Zarachy Levi in the title role, the movie also stars Mark Strong as villain Sivana, Asher Angel as young Billy Batson, and Jack Dylan Grazer as Billy’s foster brother Freddy. Adam Brody, of The O.C. fame, is also listed as a member of the cast in a mystery role.
Though most reviews have been positive, there have been some critiques of the movie.
“Shazam! is still a modern-day tentpole blockbuster, overburdened with backstories for both hero and villain and subtexts that it can’t (or won’t) full articulate,” wrote movie critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club.
The movie recently won praise for a funny April Fools’ Day prank, as reported by The Inquisitr. In the prank, the trailer for Shazam! masqueraded as a preview for the sequel to the recent smash hit Aquaman.
Shazam! is being released on Friday, April 5. Its release in China, which was a major market for Aquaman, is scheduled on the same day. Domestic revenue projections are tracking at around $45 million.