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Shazam! tops US box office with $53.5 million


Story by Jack Foley

CHILD-friendly superhero flick Shazam! has shot to the top of the US box office with a much better than expected launch of $53.5 million.

Including previous sneaks, the movie’s early US total stands at $56.8 million, marking another much needed win for the DC universe.

The news was similarly good overseas, where the Zachary Levi fronted film – costing $100 million – earned $102 million from 79 markets for a global weekend haul of $155.5 million. China led the way with $30.9 million.

The seventh title in the DC Extended Universe stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, a teenager who only has to utter the word “Shazam!” to be transformed into an adult superhero played by Levi.

The film also stars Mark Strong, Grace Fulton and Djimon Hounsou. It was directed by David Sandberg, who helmed horror hits Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation.

Coming in second place in the US was horror remake Pet Sematary, which also did strong business with a $25 million debut.

The figure marks the second best start for a Stephen King adaptation behind It ($123.4 million), not adjusted for inflation.

Internationally, Pet Sematary also brought in a further $17.5 million from 46 markets for a global start of $42.5 million against a relatively modest $21 million budget (not including marketing).

The film stars Jason Clarke as Dr Louis Creed, who stumbles across a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the Maine woods near his family’s new home.

Coming in third place was Disney and Tim Burton’s live-action take on Dumbo, which fell a steep 60% in its second weekend to $18.2 million for a disappointing 10-day US haul of $76.3 million.

Overseas, it fared better, earning $39.6 million from 55 markets for a foreign tally of $137.8 million and a global total of $213.8 million.

In fourth spot was Jordan Peele’s horror hit Us, which crossed the $200 million mark globally in its third weekend after earning another $13.8 in the US for an American tally of $152 million and foreign haul of $64.2 million. That puts the film’s global total at $213.8 million, proving what a powerhouse filmmaker Peele has become.

In fifth, meanwhile, was Disney and Marvel’s Captain Marvel, which crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office last week. The film’s $12.7 million US weekend haul brings its American total to $374.1 million, while overseas the female-led pic earned an additional $14.1 million for a foreign tally of $663.6 million. Its global haul now stands at $1.04 billion, meaning that Captain Marvel now rests at No. 9 on the list of top-grossing, live-action comic book adaptations.

The weekend’s third new wide release, the real-life racial drama The Best of Enemies, missed out on the top five, placing sixth with a muted $4.5 million.

The 1971-set civil rights drama stars Taraji P. Henson as a civil rights activist and Sam Rockwell as a member of the Ku Klux Klan who face off over school integration in Durham, North Carolina, and ultimately become allies.