BOX OFFICE: “Shazam!” over $50, “Pet Sematary” under $25

box2Whatever their ongoing shortcomings in script, direction, etc., the Warners/New Line-DC team up has hit its marketing swee-spot and is on a comic book adaptation roll.

“Shazam!”, a lesser title, a more kiddie-oriented caped superhero adaptation, had a good Thursday night and an exceptional Friday and is on track to do $55-55 million on its opening weekend. is calling it at $51 and change, but it’s a kids’ title, so they are going to be a little bit low if past is prologue. Over $50 is in “Ant-Man” territory, a solid high-performing hit without lines-around-the-block “Avengers” mania attached to it.

Not bad for a movie that pushes a few, “Well sure, all right. Whatever” critical buttons.

“Pet Sematary” was riding rapturous reviews out of Fanboy heavy SXSW and we were ASSURED it was The Next Big Stephen King Thing. It sort of is, but a raft of more skeptical reviews and what Deadline is calling “poor word of mouth” has made it only a middling horror performer -a $24 million weekend. A remake, a strong brand (Stephen King), and still only $24?

The best of the three new wide releases opening this weekend has “Best” in its title. The true story Civil Rights drama “The Best of Enemies” is a terrific big screen civics lesson, but only $5 million worth of tickets are expected to be purchased by those inclined to sit through an entertaining two hours on Durham, N.C. in the 1970s.

Don’t stay away, folks! It’s good and it has nothing to do with DOOK.

Among titles already in theaters, the doomed teens romance “Five Feet Apart” is holding audience share. It’ll reach $50 million — a nice return — before it starts losing screens by the fistful next weekend. Do a decent job with a movie teenage girls will want to see and the world — or at least the North American domestic market — will beat a path to your door.

“Dumbo” is taking a nosedive — down 67% Friday to Friday, with a 60% drop on its second weekend (to $18) the optimistic projection at this writing.

“Us” is still falling off fast, another falling $14 million in the bank this weekend.

The anti–abortion sermon “Unplanned” is still in the top ten, losing only around 40% of its small opening weekend audience.



About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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