Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the latest offering from DC Studios, recently secured a release in China after the unofficial ban on Hollywood films was lifted. However, the film has failed to generate the same excitement as its predecessors.

Disappointing Performance in China

According to Deadline, Shazam! Fury of the Gods grossed just $4.4 million in China over its opening weekend, significantly lower than initial expectations. For comparison, the 2019 release of Shazam! Earned approximately $30 million over its opening weekend in the same region.

Comparison with Other DCEU Films

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is underperforming in China compared to other films in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Before its release, Wonder Woman 1984 was the franchise’s worst-performing film in China, earning $18.8 million during its opening weekend. However, it’s worth noting that many of the franchise’s installments have yet to be released in China.

Global Box Office Performance

Shazam! Fury of the Gods has also failed to meet expectations globally. The film earned $30.5 million domestically during its opening weekend, falling below initial projections of $35 million, down from the expected $43 million. Director David F. Sandberg had predicted this outcome and shared on social media, “I saw where this was heading a long time ago. I’ll be alright, though. I got paid all my money upfront.”

China’s Attitude Toward Hollywood

The disappointing performance of Shazam! Fury of the Gods in China indicates a more significant shift from Hollywood films to domestically produced titles. The Chinese government, led by the Communist Party, has banned Hollywood films over the past two years as part of a cultural shift. However, this changed in recent months, seemingly due to the current state of the film industry in China following the government’s strict “Zero COVID” policy.

Release of Hollywood Films in China

After lifting pandemic restrictions, several Hollywood films, including Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 have been granted release dates. Previously, films were often banned for various reasons, including comments made in old interviews or the inclusion of specific iconography or background elements, without any official explanation provided to the public.

“I saw where this was heading a long time ago. I’ll be alright though. I got paid all my money upfront.” – David F. Sandberg