Zachary Levi's meltdown on social media over the box office bomb Shazam: Fury of the Gods is more entertaining than the movie.
Barely anyone watched Shazam: Fury of the Gods. The movie has been a complete box office disaster (which ChatGPT hilariously blamed on Black Widow and Covid), so far only making $100 million worldwide against its $125 million budget. However, plenty of people are watching actor Zachary Levi’s meltdown over the failure of Shazam 2 — which is something, at least. And, as Slate puts it, the drama might be more entertaining than the movie itself.
Almost all the conversation surrounding the film centers on Zachary Levi’s now-public meltdown rather than the quality of Shazam: Fury of the Gods. Posts on World of Reel, Pajiba, and more are following Levi’s antics, while very few bothered to speak about the movie outside of this bizarre context. To make a fairly straightforward comparison, Levi’s rants and protestations online have gained about three times as much attention (measured by views and likes) as his posts promoting the film’s release.
The makings of Zachary Levi’s meltdown started with Levi blaming Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for the failure of Shazam 2. In a now-disappeared Instagram Story, Levi said that Johnson refused to allow Shazam to appear in an after-the-credits scene of Black Adam — choosing to feature Henry Cavill‘s Superman instead, despite the fact that Shazam is traditionally Black Adam’s opponent in the comic books. Levi argues that this cross-over would have boosted everyone’s awareness of the film, improving its box office returns.
The apex of Zachary Levi’s meltdown can be seen in a recent Instagram video, which features the Shazam actor singing a surprisingly-impressive rendition of the Journey song “Lights” before asking his audience to donate to his friend’s mental health nonprofit, then thanking fans who watched his movie multiple times. He then claims everyone loved the movie, which scored 51 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. He then compares the film to The Goonies, tells people who haven’t seen the movie that they should see it, and expresses trust in “the bosses above me” that they’ll do something to fix the current situation surrounding the film.
Overall, it’s a surprisingly upbeat post for someone whose movie has done worse than any other DC film to date, so far having a lower domestic gross than every DC Universe film besides the much-maligned Wonder Woman 1984 (which was released day and date on HBO Max due to Covid). However, his rambling cadence and almost manic expression suggest he’s not doing as well as he lets on.
The drama surrounding Levi seems to have gathered more attention online than the film itself.
Of course, Black Adam itself wasn’t exactly a box office hit — a fact that is rumored to have led to James Gunn removing both The Rock and Henry Cavill from the DCU. While more visibility is always good for a movie, it’s far from certain that a brief after-credits scene in a failed movie with dark themes would have done much to make people want to see the family-friendly Shazam 2.
While it’s always hard to see something you put your blood, sweat, and tears into fail, it probably would do Zachary Levi some good to step away from social media and let things play out without his commentary.