Dwayne Johnson Blamed For “Shazam 2” Disappointing $30Mil Opening Weekend

The studios hoped this would be another superhero win, but Shazam underperformed at the box office opening weekend. Shazam: Fury of the Gods was an anticipated release from Warner Bros. and DC Comics, and it was clear the film was slated for blockbuster appeal. The newest Shazam‘s budget was $110 million, with a reported additional $100 million spent on marketing. However, it only pulled in just over $30 million at the box office. Many critics are pointing the finger at Dwayne Johnson.

Johnson starred as Black Adam in his separate film, and following that release, the former wrestling star seemed uninterested in jumping back into the superhero arena. He refused to reprise Black Adam for Shazam, a move that left many fans irked. Additionally, Black Adam and Shazam share similarities that are hard to dismiss, and some believe that it would have been a good look. Shazam‘s director David F. Sandberg took to Twitter to share a few thoughts, and he, too, is washing his hands of the superhero circuit.

“Shazam” Director Is Stressed By Superhero Conversations

“On Rotten Tomatoes I just got my lowest critic score and my highest audience score on the same film 🤷‍♂️,” he wrote.” I wasn’t expecting a repeat of the first movie critically but I was still a little surprised because I think it’s a good film. Oh well. As I’ve been saying for a while now I’m very eager to go back to horror (as well as trying some new things). After six years of Shazam I’m definitely done with superheroes for now.”

“Just to be clear, I don’t regret even for a second making the Shazam movies,” he added. “I’ve learned so much and gotten to work with some truly amazing people. Will forever be grateful that I got to direct two of these! They’ve been very challenging but valuable experiences. One thing I’ve really been looking forward to is disconnecting from the superhero discourse online. A lot of that stresses me out so much and it will be nice not having to think about that anymore.”

Dwayne Johnson Gets Blamed

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 14: Lucy Liu and Zachary Levi attend the Los Angeles Premiere Of Warner Bros.’ “Shazam! Fury Of The Gods” held at Regency Village Theatre on March 14, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Conversations regarding whether or not Shazam would have pulled in more significant numbers if Johnson was attached thrive. The film wasn’t without heavy hitters: Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, Meagan Good, Adam Brody, Asher Angel, Rachel Zegler, and more starred in the flick. Some have called Johnson selfish for his decision, while others empathized due to the criticism over Black Adam.

However, others have noted that Shazam isn’t an intimate fixture in the universe. While the studios want to press forward with the character in future films, they must rope in the storyline to make sense to their core audience. Did you see Shazam: Fury of the Gods? Check out the trailer above.


Rachel Zegler, A Swifty Who Got ‘Screwed By Ticketmaster, Too,’ Got Real About Why She Did The ‘Shazam!’ Sequel

2019 was clearly a different world for many reasons, but also for the fact that Shazam! felt like such a free-wheeling revelation that it landed on our list of favorite comic-book movies from the past decade. Fast forward to the DC Universe being in a very different place with James Gunn taking over (in more ways than one) as the production house’s new chief. And so, Shazam! Fury of the Gods sits in an odd place where it’s good enough as a placeholder, but it’s not blowing over critics by any stretch of the imagination.

That reality probably makes red carpets awkward, too, but Rachel Zegler (who plays one of Atlas’ daughters, Anthea) doesn’t seem phased. In fact, she was super blunt with The Hollywood Reporter about why she took this gig: “I…. needed a job. I’m being so serious.” She wasn’t done yet after the conclusion of this soundbite.

“The reality is we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Zegler continued. “[A]nd I was not working and I couldn’t get a job for the life of me, because West Side Story hadn’t come out yet. It was really hard to book work for me.”

That sound bite appeared within around a 2:00 minute interview that saw Zegler also discuss what it’s like to be a Taylor Swift fan. As everyone knows, Swift’s Eras tour kicks off this weekend, and Zegler would like the world to know, “I got screwed by Ticketmaster, too. Celebrities, they’re just like us.”

In other words, Ziegler’s got no dice and no tickets after the conglomerate went down during the crush of Swift ticket sales. She’s certainly not alone in her criticism of Ticketmaster, which came under fire this week from The Cure’s fans due to added fees that subsequently “sickened” lead singer Robert Smith. That’s led to Ticketmaster refunding some fees, but that’s probably not enough to quell the debate.

Nor is it enough to score Zegler any Taylor Swift tickets. However, she did clarify to The Hollywood Reporter that she is a Shazam! fan, too. “I loved the first movie, and the fact that they even wanted me to come in for a callback and then a camera read and then everything in between, I’m so lucky that I got this job,” she revealed. “I made some of my best friends on this job. I just absolutely adore this movie, too, so I’m excited.”

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

Drake Is The Most-Searched Artist Of All Time On Shazam

Drake’s dominance is disputed but he’s got a compelling new argument in his favor. Shazam, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, has confirmed that Drake is the most-searched artist of all time. Fans have Shazamed Drake’s songs or songs on which he’s featured over 350 million times — which, considering he’s only been around for about half of Shazam’s lifespan, is really impressive. His most Shazamed song? “One Dance,” from his 2016 album Views, which has been searched 17 million times since its release. Whether or not Drake’s really got “more slaps than The Beatles,” he’s become one of the most ubiquitous artists in the world.

And that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. During his recent appearance on Nicki Minaj’s Queen Radio, Drake rejected the possibility of retirement. “I’m not at that point where I even consider that being an option,” he said. “One of the best feelings I have in my life is completing a song or project. And, by the way, those things are painful as well. A lot of nerves, a lot of confidence wavering. But I feel like I’m reaching a new level of fun. I’ve reached a new level of comfortability where I want to try things. Like this last album, I put out something I wanted to do to challenge myself.”

Shazam Celebrates Its 20th Birthday With A Nostalgic Playlist

There have been a lot of random anniversaries of classic records this year, but yesterday marked the 20th birthday of the app Shazam. If you don’t know — which, how? — Shazam is an app that always comes in clutch by telling you the title and artist of a song after it hears a brief clip.

To celebrate, they’ve put together a playlist made up of the most Shazamed song of each year for the past two decades. It’s on Apple Music and will definitely cause strong feelings of nostalgia, reminding you of when Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” was virtually inescapable, or Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” had everyone turning emo, or Gotye‘s “Somebody That I Used To Know” was everywhere.

Adele has been able to keep up the momentum since that hit, but she recently had to postpone her Las Vegas residency. “There was just no soul in it,” she explained. “The stage setup wasn’t right. It was very disconnected from me and my band, and it lacked intimacy. And maybe I tried too hard to give it those things in such a controlled environment.” She added, “The first couple of months was really, really hard. I was embarrassed.”

Check out the playlist here.