BY: Rohn Romulo
MANILA, April 9, 2019 — The country’s fanboys and moviegoers shouted the magic word “Shazam!” last weekend, catapulting Warner Bros.’ latest DC superhero to the top of the Philippine box-office at No.1.
The comedy adventure starring Zachary Levi as the titular hero arrived with a five-day opening weekend of P79.6-million, dominating with more than 50% market share and gave Warner Bros. Pictures its biggest opening for the year.
A hit with both fans and critics for its high entertainment value and joyful, comedic tone, “Shazam!” also gifted director David F. Sandberg his best opening ever locally, soaring past such blockbusters as 2016’s “Lights Out” and 2017’s “Annabelle: Creation.”
In the US and international markets, “Shazam!” dominated as well with a global start of $158.6 million.
Now playing in Philippine cinemas nationwide, “Shazam!” is a New Line Cinema production, and distributed in the Philippines by Warner Bros., a WarnerMedia Company. Use the hashtag #SHAZAM
David F. Sandberg (“Annabelle: Creation”) directs New Line Cinema’s “Shazam!,” the origin story that stars Zachary Levi (TV’s “Chuck”) as the titular DC Super Hero, along with Asher Angel (TV’s “Andi Mack”) as Billy Batson, and Mark Strong (the “Kingsman” movies) in the role of Super-Villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. Peter Safran (upcoming “Aquaman,” “The Conjuring” and “Annabelle” films) serves as the film’s producer.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).
“Shazam!” also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (“IT”) as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton (“Annabelle: Creation”); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (TV’s “This is Us”); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (TV’s “Fresh Off the Boat”); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”). Cooper Andrews (TV’s “The Walking Dead”) and Marta Milans (TV’s “Killer Women”) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond”) as the Wizard.
Firmly set in the DC universe but with his own distinctly fun, family-centric tone, the screenplay is by Henry Gayden, story by Gayden and Darren Lemke. Shazam was created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck. Christopher Godsick, Jeffrey Chernov, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia serve as executive producers.