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Box Office: 'Shazam!' Zooms to $53.5M Bow; 'Pet Sema

The civil rights drama ‘The Best of Enemies’ didn’t get to $5 million in its launch.

The kid-friendly Shazam! easily topped the weekend box office with $53.5 million from 4,217 cinemas in a second consecutive win for DC’s superhero stable following Aquaman. Including previous sneaks, the movie’s early North American total stands at $56.8 million.

Overseas, the $100 million movie is likewise off to a strong start, earning $102 million from 79 markets for a global weekend haul of $155.5 million. China led with $30.9 million; however, the film saw a steep drop on Saturday, suggesting weak word of mouth.

While it may not have broken any records in its opening, Shazam!‘s overall performance no doubt launches a new franchise for New Line and DC.

The pic, buoyed by glowing reviews and an A CinemaScore, was powered by younger moviegoers. More than half of the audience was under the age of 25, including nearly a third under age 17, according to PostTrak. By way of comparison, 46 percent of those turning out to see Captain Marvel on opening weekend were under 25. Males made up 65 percent of ticket buyers for Shazam!, which is rated PG-13.

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 Zachary Levi. Mark Strong, Grace Fulton, Jack Dylan Grazer and Djimon Hounsou co-star in the film, which was directed by David Sandberg, who helmed the horror hits Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation.

Paramount’s Pet Sematary, a remake of the 1989 original, also scared up strong business in its domestic debut, earning $25 million from 2,585 locations. That marked the second best start for a Stephen King adaptation behind It ($123.4 million), not adjusted for inflation.

The R-rated horror pic skewed male (54 percent), while 75 percent of ticket buyers were 35 and under, proving the film wasn’t just a nostalgia play. Pet Sematary earned a C+ CinemaScore, not uncommon for the genre.

Internationally, Pet Sematary opened to $17.5 million from 46 markets for a global start of $42.5 million against a relatively modest $21 million budget (that doesn’t include marketing).

The movie, directed by Dennis Widmyer, stars Jason Clarke as Dr. Louis Creed in the story of a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the Maine woods near his family’s new home. Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow also star.

Dinged by Shazam!, Tim Burton and Disney’s family film Dumbo fell a steep 60 percent in its second weekend to $18.2 million for a disappointing 10-day domestic total 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 cume of $213.8 million.

Dumbo came in third, followed by Jordan Peele and Universal’s horror hit Us, which crossed the $200 million mark globally in its third weekend after earning another $13.8 million domestically for a North American tally of $152.4 million and a foreign cume of $64.2 million. That puts the film’s total at $216.6 million to date.

After crossing the $1 billion mark at the global box office last week, Disney and Marvel’s superhero blockbuster Captain Marvel came in No. 5 in North America with $12.7 million in its fifth weekend for a total of $374.1 million. Overseas, the female-led pic earned an additional $14.1 million for a foreign tally of $663.6 million and $1.04 billion worldwide. Captain Marvel now rests at No. 9 on the list of top-grossing live-action comic book adaptations.

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