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China Box Office: ‘Shazam 2,’ ‘M3GAN’ Bomb Big Time



Hollywood’s recent streak of shaky box office results in China continued over the weekend, as Warner Bros’ shaky superhero sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Universal’s horror hit M3GAN both crashed and burned, losing to Chinese holdover releases.

Shazam! 2, directed by David F. Sandberg and starring Zachary Levi, opened to just $4.3 million, according to data from Artisan Gateway. The debut represents an 86 percent slide from the original Shazam!‘s $29.7 million opening in 2019. Ticketing app Maoyan currently projects Shazam 2 to finish with just $7.5 million, one of the lowest results of recent memory for a US superhero tentpole.

Chinese comedy Post Truth, which opened March 10, easily won its second frame with a $18.8. million haul. The film is written by, directed by and stars Chengpeng Dong (Detective Chinatown 3). The movie follows a cemetery plot salesman who’s struggling to salvage his reputation after he’s been slandered by online lies. It has earned $51.2 million and is projected to finish with a little over $100 million. Second place again went to local crime drama Revival, which earned $6.3 million. Produced by Beijing TM Pictures, that film has brought in $22.3 million to date.

M3GAN fared even worse than Shazam 2opening in fifth place with just $1.6 million — behind the local animated hit Boonie Bears: Guardian Codea movie that has been in cinemas since late January. M3GAN is projected to struggle to reach $3 million before its China run concludes. US horror films traditionally have had no place in China’s highly censorious film market, but several of Hollywood’s new crop of PG13-rated, soft horror hits have made their way into the country in recent years. The most successful in the category was John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Franchise. The original A Quiet Place (2018) earned $35 million in China, while the sequel brought in $39 million in 2021 — a solid result for the pandemic era.

The Hollywood studios’ next major outing in China will come on March 31 with the simultaneous release of Paramount’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and Sony’s adventure sci-fi 65.

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