Box office: ‘Shazam!’ continues spring thaw with $53.5-million debut; ‘Pet Sematary’ lands at No. 2

Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in “Shazam!”
(Warner Bros.)

Superhero season, which began this year in March with Disney’s “Captain Marvel” and concludes in July with the studio’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” welcomed its first DC Comics entry this weekend as Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema’s “Shazam!” opened in first place at the box office.

The film earned $53.5 million over the weekend, above analyst predictions of $40 million to $45 million, plus $3.3 million in advance screenings for a cumulative $56.8 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. Internationally, the film earned $102 million for a global gross of $158.8 million.

“Shazam!” follows Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a foster teen who transforms into a fully grown superhero (Zachary Levi) when he says the magic word. The $98-million movie earned positive reviews with an A rating on CinemaScore and a 91% “fresh” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, among the best reviews yet for a DC Universe film.

The picture performed on par with fellow low-profile superhero origin movies like “Ant-Man,” which earned $57.2 million in 2015, but below “Aquaman,” DC’s most recent entry, which opened with $68 million in December.


In second place, Paramount’s “Pet Sematary” remake opened with $25 million. The result is the second best opening for a Stephen King adaptation behind 2017’s “It,” which opened with $123.4 million.

The $21-million movie earned mixed reviews from audiences and critics with a C-plus CinemaScore rating and a 61% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Disney’s “Dumbo” landed in third place, adding $18.2 million in its second weekend (a 60% drop) for a cumulative $76.3 million. Internationally, it earned $39.6 million for a global cumulative of $213.8 million.

At No. 4, Universal’s “Us” added $13.8 million in its third weekend (a 58% drop) for a cumulative $152.4 million. It has earned $216.6 million worldwide.


Rounding out the top five, “Captain Marvel” added $12.7 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $374.1 million and has surpassed $1 billion in global grosses.

Also new this week, STX Entertainment’s “The Best of Enemies” opened in sixth place with an underwhelming $4.5 million.

Starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell as a civil rights activist and Ku Klux Klan leader who form an unlikely friendship, the film earned mixed reviews with an A CinemaScore rating and a 52% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In limited release, A24 opened “High Life” in four locations with $100,028, for a per-screen average of $25,007. It earned an 89% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Neon opened the Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace” in eight locations with $96,000, for a per-screen average of $12,000. The film, which earned $111,389 during an awards qualifying run in December, has grossed $207,389 to date. It earned a 98% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This week, Universal opens the Marsai Martin-produced comedy “Little,” Lionsgate debuts a “Hellboy” reboot, Aviron reveals the drama “After” and United Artists Releasing premieres the animated adventure “Missing Link.” In limited release, Bleecker Street opens the Elle Fanning drama “Teen Spirit.”

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