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  1. #1
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    Default With the new Shazam movie out, will Shazam catch up to Superman?

    With the new Shazam movie out and getting good reviews from critics and fans, will this let Shazam come closer to Superman in terms of popularity?

    Back in the 40s, there was a time when Captain Marvel comics outsold Superman comics. Captain Marvel and Superman have a lot of surface similarities, but Captain Marvel really being a child can make him appeal to kids in a way an adult like Superman cannot. Now Shazam the movie was able to update the franchise with a hip sense of irony (they have some fun with this franchise being ridiculous and making fun of superhero movie tropes), but still had heart and drama in the right places. Meanwhile, Man of Steel, not a terrible movie, lacked a sense of fun and felt somewhat overwrought. This new Shazam movie does feel like updating the Donner films and making them fit in modern times. They are still both great characters, but Shazam may be getting some time under the sun.

    I actually feel like Superman is lacking in modern media representation, his last couple of movies are lackluster and he has not gotten a great video game as Batman and Spider-Man have in recent times. Sure Batman and Spider-Man have had some duds recently (DCUE Batman is not great, Amazing Spider-Man 2 was bad, ditto to the 2 recent Spidey cartoons). But Batman has the Dark Knight Trilogy and the Arkham games. Spidey has his PS4 game, Homecoming and Into the Spider-Verse and now Wonder Woman and Shazam have the best DC movies around.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    It reviewed really well but being sandwiched between Captain Marvel and Endgame is going to hurt it’s box office. I think it will make MoS money which is still good. Popularity is a fickle thing and so I’m going to say no. I don’t think Billy is going to be “taking over Supes spot” or whatever the hyperbole is.

  3. #3
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    It's a unfair comparison to make.

    A few years ago, Superman was the fourth biggest selling comic IP, with only Spidey, Bats, and the Avengers (as a group) out-selling him in merchandise. About the same time (just a couple years back) he was the second most recognized fictional character on earth, with only Mickey Mouse being more well known around the world.

    Shazam might end up making more money in theaters. His solo book might move more units (at least for a bit). But Superman transcends the medium and is a global icon. Not just some long-standing character who's popular or well known among nerd circles. A no-bullsh*t global icon. Shazam can't come close to comparing to that.

    Superman does get out-sold by a lot of books in the direct market, and maybe Shazam can be one of those. And there's other ways that Shazam might out-perform Clark Kent. At least this year, with a movie doing well. But that's basically just saying you won a sprint, when the real name of the game is a marathon.

    But it shouldnt be about whether Billy can "beat" Clark. It should be about whether Billy can become a character that matters again. And I think he's got good odds of that right now. I want to see Shazam popular and successful. But his odds of surpassing Superman are only slightly better than his odds of surpassing Batman, and neither will happen.
    Last edited by Ascended; 04-05-2019 at 07:33 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Shazam isn't doing very well outside the US. It should still be profitably because of how cheap it was to make but no way is this outgrossing Man of Steel, a movie with came out 6 years ago and arguably underperformed.

    Shazam will still sequels and a movie series whilst WB will do absolutely nothing with the Superman brand for the next couple years. Which sucks for all DC fans.

  5. #5
    Death becomes you Osiris-Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EsotericFailures View Post
    Shazam isn't doing very well outside the US. It should still be profitably because of how cheap it was to make but no way is this outgrossing Man of Steel, a movie with came out 6 years ago and arguably underperformed.
    Shazam! is doing the usual 35% - 65% superhero split. It actually has almost the same foreign ration as Captain Marvel or Avengers: Infinity War and so far is doing much better than Black Panther did ratio wise.
    I doubt Shazam! will do $1 billion world wide, but it is not to far behind Aquaman for the opening weekend.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Robanker's Avatar
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    At best, he only would for a moment since all other Superman media is how he dies or turns into Hitler. The moment a more iconic interpretation lands a successful film or video game, Superman will overtake him again, though I don't see Billy overturning the Man of Steel.

    If WB/DC capitalize on his current popularity and push another movie, a video game or animated series, Shazam may end up appealing more toward young children than Superman would, but outside that demographic, I don't think he'll pass Clark for a while, if ever. It would require the powers that be consistently do everything wrong with Superman and everything right with Shazam. I see neither in the future.

  7. #7
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    It's a unfair comparison to make.

    A few years ago, Superman was the fourth biggest selling comic IP, with only Spidey, Bats, and the Avengers (as a group) out-selling him in merchandise. About the same time (just a couple years back) he was the second most recognized fictional character on earth, with only Mickey Mouse being more well known around the world.

    Shazam might end up making more money in theaters. His solo book might move more units (at least for a bit). But Superman transcends the medium and is a global icon. Not just some long-standing character who's popular or well known among nerd circles. A no-bullsh*t global icon. Shazam can't come close to comparing to that.

    Superman does get out-sold by a lot of books in the direct market, and maybe Shazam can be one of those. And there's other ways that Shazam might out-perform Clark Kent. At least this year, with a movie doing well. But that's basically just saying you won a sprint, when the real name of the game is a marathon.

    But it shouldnt be about whether Billy can "beat" Clark. It should be about whether Billy can become a character that matters again. And I think he's got good odds of that right now. I want to see Shazam popular and successful. But his odds of surpassing Superman are only slightly better than his odds of surpassing Batman, and neither will happen.
    Yep. Don't get me wrong: if the movie does well or outpaces MoS, expect a lot of talk about how "Shazam is the new Superman" and handwringing about how Superman's time is done (you'd think the media game around this stuff was political punditry, for cryin' out loud, lol), but it's never really going to happen.

    And in a weird way, this might be good for everybody. We're finally seeing filmmakers on the DC/WB side smartly taking these smaller franchises and giving them love. THIS, to me, is the true successor to what the Donner films tried (and largely succeeded) in doing with Superman. Everything kinda followed Batman's darker lens for a few decades (X-Men, etc). Now it's flipped (or the flip is allowed to exist, if you prefer). And maybe, if we're lucky, Superman getting some bench time means an opportunity for some other director/producer who actually, truly cares about the property to come on and make the best version we've ever seen. That's the hope, anyway.


    And on the subject of "Shazam!": it was awesome! Such a fun ride, a real blast to watch. Imo, a great update, and one all ages should like (even if it's like an 80's "kids" movie where some stuff is a bit above their level, lol) Hope we get a LOT of sequels out of this!
    Last edited by JAK; 04-06-2019 at 03:56 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Superman's quagmire imo is that DC's done something that should be relatively impossible he's become a symbol of both conformity and stagnation creating a character that can neither sticks to his guns nor can he roll with the punches. For all the bellyaching about the changes Billy and the Shazam mythos they've mixed in fine with the larger mythostructure of the overall character. Even if his movie doesn't blow up the charts we know that a lot of the concepts worked up in the past half decade or so can be readily accepted by the public and theres a basis to build on with the larger public.

    Post-Crisis and even Julius Schwartz era were periods of conformity and once you start you can't suddenly decide you're going to stop just because it was successful otherwise you end up like Superman is today; lost and confused.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The World View Post
    Superman's quagmire imo is that DC's done something that should be relatively impossible he's become a symbol of both conformity and stagnation creating a character that can neither sticks to his guns nor can he roll with the punches. For all the bellyaching about the changes Billy and the Shazam mythos they've mixed in fine with the larger mythostructure of the overall character. Even if his movie doesn't blow up the charts we know that a lot of the concepts worked up in the past half decade or so can be readily accepted by the public and theres a basis to build on with the larger public.

    Post-Crisis and even Julius Schwartz era were periods of conformity and once you start you can't suddenly decide you're going to stop just because it was successful otherwise you end up like Superman is today; lost and confused.

    your so wrong, and its not superman who is lost and confused, it's WB

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