It's been said that Shazam can take on Superman, but Avatar is apparently too big for it.
With Disney doubling down on Avatar: The Way of Water's release date on December 16, Warner Bros. Discovery has decided to delay Shazam: Fury of the Gods by five days to December 21, 2022.
The decision comes after the hype for Avatar: The Way of Water reached a fever pitch following Disney's CinemaCon presentation. Warner Bros., which hasn't had the best of luck going toe to toe with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, isn't about to try its luck against the sequel to the highest-grossing film in international box office history. The film's director, David F. Sandberg, couldn't help but make light of the situation, tweeting in jest to James Cameron, the director of Avatar: The Way of Water.
You’re welcome Cameron! https://t.co/dYzBCrLyZS
— David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) April 27, 2022
The highly anticipated Shazam sequel has seen its release date changed several times over the past two years, and we're not certain that the December 21 premiere is final. However, if we assume that the DC Extended Universe is ready to bring Zachary Levi and Asher Angel back to the big screen as Shazam and Billy Batson, respectively, it will be interesting to see how the film will fare as it goes up against a behemoth.
The good news is that Fury of the Gods isn't exactly expected to hit the billion-dollar mark or anywhere close to it.
The first Shazam film, which had a production budget of $80 to $100 million, made back $366 million at the global box office. Warner Bros. will be happy if the sequel does just as well once it comes out in December, which isn't entirely outside the realm of possibility. For one, the COVID-19 pandemic situation has improved drastically over the past few months. Fingers crossed, more families will be comfortable flocking theaters during the holiday season, which means more eyes will be on Shazam 2.
If anything, the Shazam sequel could benefit from the spill-over of filled audiences wanting to watch Avatar 2, as the light-hearted and comedic comic book adaptation is a more family-focused affair that should attract its fair share of moviegoers in its opening weekend. It also might help that Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is expected to pop in for a cameo or two. Not to mention, Fury of the Gods isn't expected to go head-to-head against another potential blockbuster film in the SSU film, Kraven the Hunter, which will hit theaters on January 13, 2023.
Speaking of the DCEU, word has it that the new management wants to overhaul the entire cinematic universe. Specifically, there are reports stating that the company's CEO, David Zaslav, wants to find a Kevin Feige-like figure to spearhead the entire thing.