By the Numbers: ‘Shazam!’ brings new life to the DC Extended Universe

%22Shazam%21%22+is+the+next+superhero+film+to+be+released+in+the+DC+Extended+Universe.+The+movie+has+received+early+positive+buzz+from+critics+online.+%22An+effortlessly+entertaining+blend+of+humor+and+heart%2C+Shazam%21+is+a+superhero+movie+that+never+forgets+the+genre%27s+real+power%3A+joyous+wish+fulfillment%2C%22+praises+Rotten+Tomatoes+in+their+critics+consensus.
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By the Numbers: ‘Shazam!’ brings new life to the DC Extended Universe

"Shazam!" is the next superhero film to be released in the DC Extended Universe. The movie has received early positive buzz from critics online. "An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment," praises Rotten Tomatoes in their critics consensus.

"Shazam!" is the next superhero film to be released in the DC Extended Universe. The movie has received early positive buzz from critics online. "An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment," praises Rotten Tomatoes in their critics consensus.

"Shazam!" is the next superhero film to be released in the DC Extended Universe. The movie has received early positive buzz from critics online. "An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment," praises Rotten Tomatoes in their critics consensus.

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Despite having a collection of some of the most popular superheroes ever, such as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, the DC Extended Universe has always been a struggling film franchise. Unlike the critical acclaim that most Marvel films receive, DC’s movies always seem to divide audiences. Films like “Man of Steel”, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, and “Suicide Squad” all are films that most fans either love or hate. They each sit at a rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Movies such as ‘Justice League’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ failed because they skipped an important step. . . giving each character a background to build upon,” Darren Clanton (12) said.

With the exception of “Wonder Woman” in 2017, each film in the DCEU has received a rotten score on the critic website. “Aquaman” managed to break the trend though last December. The film sits at a 65% rating, just 5 points above the 60 percent margin that qualifies whether a movie is fresh or rotten.  

A 65% rating is nothing to brag about, it is just barely fresh, but for a struggling franchise like the DCEU, that fresh rating means a lot. It opened up a question: is the DCEU beginning to turn over a new leaf? Are they learning from previous mistakes? Their upcoming film “Shazam!” seems to be a possible turning point for the franchise.

The movie poster for “Shazam!”, releasing on April 5.

“Shazam!” will introduce a new superhero to the franchise. Billy Batson is a streetwise fourteen year old foster kid who is given the ability to magically transform into the adult superhero Shazam by shouting his name. Shazam tests out  the limits of his powers and what all he can do, still a kid at heart. But he needs to master the powers quickly in order to fight off the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.

The film will not be released in the United States until April 5, but critic reviews from those who have seen the movie early are already being dropped online. The film currently sits at a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic, a similar critic website that gathers the ratings of movie critics and averages them out on a score of 0 to 100, “Shazam!” sits at a green positive 76 rating, making it the only film in the DCEU alongside “Wonder Woman” to have a green positive rating. Even “Aquaman” was not able to achieve a green rating, as it sits just below the mixed to positive movie threshhold with a rating of 55.

“I am looking forward to the film’s release,” Challis Garey (11) said. “I enjoyed “Aquaman”, and after seeing the positive reviews about this new movie online, I cannot wait to see it.”

These critic numbers mark a huge change for the once “rotten” franchise. After a string of negative reviews, the positive buzz for “Shazam!” is important. The franchise is successfully learning and evolving. Instead of focusing on a cinematic universe like Marvel, the DCEU is focusing on more stand-alone movies, movies that tell one confined story. And it is working out in their favor when looking at the critic ratings.  If “Aquaman” was any positive indication for the DCEU, then “Shazam!” may be a new chapter for the franchise. New places are being explored, changes are being made, and both critics and fans seem to be pleased.   

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