The Worst DCU Movie Is Finally A Success Thanks to Streaming

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is currently the #2 movie on Max.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

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Despite its abysmal box office performance, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is succeeding on Max. The DC movie currently holds the number two spot on the platform’s United States streaming charts, while it tops the list in several other countries. The data, released by FlixPatrol, will provide some comfort to DC Studio co-CEOs, James Gunn and Peter Safran as they prepare to release The Flash in June.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods continues the story of Billy Batson, who, upon reciting the magic word “SHAZAM!” is transformed into his adult superhero alter ego. The story begins two years after Thaddeus Sivana is defeated, with Hespera and Kalypso (daughters of the Titan Atlas) stealing the broken staff of the Wizard from the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

They force the Wizard to repair and reactivate the staff in the Gods’ Realm. In Philadelphia, Billy Batson/Shazam and his foster siblings, known as the Shazamily, save people on a collapsing bridge but are criticized for its destruction. The group is also growing apart. Mary resents that her superhero life prevents her from going to college, and Billy worries about aging out of the foster system.

However, their personal struggles are set aside when the Wizard warns Billy about the Daughters. Freddy unwittingly falls for a new girl named Anne, who is revealed to be Anthea, the youngest sister of Hespera and Kalypso. The Daughters steal Freddy’s powers and trap the city inside an indestructible dome, announcing their desire for revenge because the Wizard killed their father.

After Billy/Shazam meets with Hespera, a fight ensues, and she is captured. However, her imprisonment doesn’t last long. Hespera eventually steals the Golden Apple and argues with her sisters about its use. Meanwhile, Freddy and the Wizard try to escape the Gods’ Realm with Anthea’s help. Freddy steals the Apple, and Billy and the Shazamily regain their powers.

The Shazamily reveal their secret identities to their foster parents before going into battle for the Golden Apple. The fight leaves Hespera mortally wounded, and Anthea depowered. A distraught Shazam asks for his powers to be revoked, but the Wizard assures him he is worthy of them. Eventually, Shazam overloads the staff, sacrificing himself to destroy Kalypso and the Tree.

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Anthea takes Billy’s family to the Gods’ Realm for his burial. Diana Prince repairs the staff, revives the Gods’ Realm, and resurrects Shazam using her powers. In a mid-credits scene, Emilia Harcourt and John Economos try to recruit Billy for the Justice Society on behalf of Amanda Waller. In a post-credits scene, Sivana encounters Mister Mind, frustrated with their delayed plan.

Directed by David F. Sandberg from a script by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan, Shazam! Fury of the Gods stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, D. J. Cotrona, Grace Caroline Currey, Meagan Good, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou, and Helen Mirren. Released in March, the film received mixed reviews from critics, who described it as inferior to its predecessor.

It was also a commercial disaster, earning just $133 million worldwide against a production budget of approximately 125 million. The biggest issue with the film is a disconnect between hardcore DC fans and an increasingly disinterested Chinese market. This is a concerning trend since the region is the world’s second-biggest box office market.

Adding to the film’s troubles was Dwayne Johnson, whose control of Black Adam not only hurt his film but impacted Shazam! Fury of the Gods as well. The actor reportedly rejected a post-credits scene in his movie featuring Zachary Levi’s superhero in favor of Henry Cavill’s Superman. He also vetoed multiple ideas for crossovers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson and the Justice Society were initially supposed to appear in the Shazam! Fury of the Gods post-credits scene. However, things fell apart three days before the clip was supposed to be shot. This forced filmmakers to find alternate characters at the last minute.

Zachary Levi seemingly blamed The Rock for blocking any collaboration by linking to a story on social media with the caption, “The truth shall set you free.” Fortunately, Shazam! Fury of the Gods seems to be winning over audiences as the film holds an 86 percent approval rating from viewers on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.