‘Shazam’ Wins Over Critics With Half the Budget of Marvel’s Latest Film

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Zachary Levi as Shazam in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Credit: DC/Warner Bros.

Has DC found a successful franchise with Shazam! (2019)?

Zachary Levi as Shazam in Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Credit: DC/Warner Bros.

No matter what, movies take a lot of money to make and, generally speaking, even more to make successfully. Some of the most successful movies at the box office have also had the biggest price tags, like Avatar: The Way of Water (2022), which cost a whopping $350–460 million to make. This hasn’t always been the case, however; Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), for example, changed film forever and only cost $11 million to make! It may be that James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DC Studios is hoping for a similar situation here…

Related: DC Teases Another ‘Superman’-Esque Cameo In New Film

While it’s clear that Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) isn’t going to revolutionize cinema; the outlook for the new film from Warner Bros. and DC Studios is already very good. Initial critical reception has been very positive, and the first film still holds the record for being of the highest-rated DC films of the old DC Extended Universe. If Fury of the Gods is anything like its predecessor, it’s a recipe for success!

Zachary Levi as Shazam!
Credit: DC Studios/Warner Bros.

Shazam!, often referred to as DC’s Marvel movie introduced fans to Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a foster child who finds himself chosen by an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou) to inherit the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury. Though it takes some time, Billy (Angel) learns to respect and master his powers, and embrace his foster family, and help them do the same!

Shazam and family
Credit: DC Studios/Warner Bros.

Fury of the Gods will see Shazam (Zachary Levi) coming head to head with the daughters of one of the beings whose powers he has inherited, Atlas. Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler take up the mantle as the main antagonists of the film, claiming that Batson (Angel) is unworthy to possess the powers of the gods, threatening the entire world in the process. It’s a hefty storyline and one that, fans would think, comes with an equally hefty price tag.

Shazam Daughters of Atlas
Credit: Warner Brothers

On the contrary, as movies go, Fury of the Gods came in relatively low! According to a report from Variety, Fury of the Gods came in with a budget of just $100 million, the same as its predecessor. While that may seem steep, Variety points out that, compared to their other recent entries, DC saved quite a chunk of change on Shazam!Black Adam (2022), for example, cost a full $85 million more than Shazam to make, and The Suicide Squad (2021) a whopping $100 million more!

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam in Black Adam (2022). Credit: Warner Bros./ D.C
Credit: Warner Bros.

Variety was also quick to point out that projections from DC studios don’t put Fury of the Gods at an outstanding opening weekend, with totals just over half of the budget for the entire film. If, however, the film performs anywhere like the first movie, it will be a financial success for the studio and goes to show: quality will win out. Though Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) spent double what DC did on Shazam!, it still didn’t make up for things that critics just couldn’t look past.

Zachary Levi as Billy Batson/Shazam in 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods' (2023)
Credit: DC Studios/ Warner Bros.

Related: Wonder Woman To Be Focus Of DC Animation, Gal Gadot Could Return

Shazam! Fury of the Gods comes to theaters this week, March 17, 2023, and stars Zachary Levi/Angel as Billy Batson/Shazam, Jack Dylan Grazer/Adam Brody as Freddy Freeman, Rachel Zegler as Anthea, Helen Mirren as Hespera, and Lucy Liu as Kalypso. Fury of the Gods follows the Shazam family as they face a new threat in the daughters of Atlas, whose new weapon threatens to destroy the world.

What do you think of this low budget? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!

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