Opening to one of the worst starts in DC history, Shazam! 2 brought in only $30.1 million during the 3-day domestic opening weekend. That's $23.4 million less than 2019's Shazam! and $36.9 million behind 2022's Black Adam opening.
A major part of the poor commercial opening is the equally negative reception by critics. The original was reviewed well, earning a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Fury of the Gods currently sits at a rotten 51%.
Mama Rosa actress Marta Milans believed part of the reason for the negative reactions was due to some politics involved.
Shazam! Star on Critics' Agendas Affecting Reviews
In an exclusive conversation with The Direct, Shazam! Fury of the Gods actress Marta Milans responded to the negative reception of the DCU's latest. The star believed "there is a lot of politics involved" and there's a "political agenda" amongst critics:
"I know that there is a lot of politics involved and a lot of hardcore fans of one side, on the other side, a lot of haters on the internet. A lot of critics feel like they have a political agenda rather than actually sitting and watching the film and enjoying it."
While expressing her frustration, Milans made it a point to explain that Shazam 2 isn't "trying to push any agenda" and questioned the idea "that celebrating fun isn't good enough:"
"We're not trying to push any agenda. We're not trying to prove any point. And I don't know what it is about, I don't know if it's our society nowadays that celebrating fun isn't good enough. A movie that is, you just go and you feel good about it, and you have a good laugh, and you see the Shazamily, that seems to be good enough for some people."
Milans remains hopeful for a potential third film because of the franchise's "special story" and "feel-good sensation:"
"So, I hope that won't have anything to do with the decision-making in the future. I do believe it's a special story that has touched a lot of parts all over the world, and I think that's part of the reason why the first movie was so successful, and we were able to do a second one. And I just hope that that word of mouth and that feel-good sensation will continue to pass along all over the world. And let's cross fingers for a third one. Who knows?"
Marta Milans Explains the Box Office Woes of Shazam! 2
A lot has changed since the first film of 2019 release, particularly in terms of moviegoers' trends after the COVID-19 pandemic. Marta Milans is keenly aware, putting it plainly, "I think post-COVID, less people go to the movie theaters. That is just a sad reality."
The actress described this as "just a sad reality" and attributed that partially to why the Shazam! sequel is earning less than the original.
Milans also addressed the buzz phrase of "superhero fatigue," but found that the exhaustion is mainly from the critics, not the fans. She mentioned specifically reading "unnecessary hatred comments" from "trolls" during the opening weekend release:
"I don't know if there's a superhero fatigue, it might be, it's clear that there's a superhero fatigue in the critic's world where you have all these trolls that just make some unnecessary hatred comments that are so uncalled for that I should stop reading it over the weekend because I was like, you know what? It's just not worth it. "
The bottom line is Shazam! 2 will (probably) not be deemed a success in the eyes of Warner Bros. Discovery executives. Milans seems to understand that, saying "No one is doing this for the love of art" but she doesn't care about what the critics have to say:
"I don't care how many critics say one thing, how many reviews, how many the box office numbers, it's understandable that these big movies of this size, inevitably they have to perform at the box office because they cost a lot of money to make. That's just a fact. And at the end of the day, this is a business. No one is doing this for the love of art. They're doing it because they have to make money. I get that."
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is playing now playing in theaters worldwide.