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Zachary Levi Blames Marketing For Shazam 2's Failure At The Box Office

The painful postmortem analysis of the dismal opening of "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" is continuing. Zachary Levi, the actor who plays the titular character, is weighing in on the film's soft $30 million domestic opening against its reported $110 million-plus production budget. Levi feels that the marketing of the film is at least partially to blame for its lackluster opening. In response to a fan's tweet about the poor ticket sales, Levi said, "I think the biggest issue we're having is marketing. This is a perfect family movie, and yet a lot of families aren't aware of that. Which is just a shame."

The box office tally is far short of the $53.5 million the original "Shazam" earned in its 2019 opening frame. Adding insult to injury, the cost of the original "Shazam!" was cheaper than the sequel, with a reported budget of $100 million. In addition to production expenses, "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" cost Warner Bros. $100 million to market. 

The marketing issue regarding the lack of a family audience, however, wasn't the only matter that Levi broached in his Twitter conversation with the fan. The actor also gave his thoughts on the superhero moviegoing audience — specifically the fans of director Zack Snyder's DC work — who have been very vocal online about the new direction of DC's movies.

Director David F. Sandberg also aired his thoughts on Twitter

Zachary Levi is well aware of Snyder fans' disdain for the new DC. It's been exacerbated by the installation of superhero moviemakers James Gunn and Peter Safran as co-CEOs of DC Studios, as well as their decision to move away from Superman actor Henry Cavill. But Levi apparently doesn't blame them for the failure for "Shazam! Fury of the Gods." Responding to a fan who tweeted, "[T]here are many [S]nyder fans who are happy for the failure of your film," Levi answered, "This is also true. Sad, but true. How much that actually affects the box office is anyone's guess."

"Shazam: Fury of the Gods" director David F. Sandberg has also gone public about the film's performance. In a string of tweets on March 20, Sandberg offers no apology for making "Fury of the Gods," but after directing two "Shazam!" films, he is ready to move on from the stress of superhero movie making. "One thing I've really been looking forward to is disconnecting from the superhero discourse online," Sandberg tweeted." A lot of that stresses me out so much and it will be nice not having to think about that anymore."

Sandberg's telling tweets in all likelihood allude to the fervent fan base of DC comic book movies, and Zack Snyder fans in particular. Gunn and Safran been the target of several damning tweets by Snyder acolytes since they took the helm of the division and chose to reboot the DC Universe, making hashtags like #FireJamesGunnAndPeterSafran a familiar sight.