'Pet Sematary' And 'Shazam' Early Box Office Tracking Promises A Solid Start For April

Summer blockbuster season is just around the corner, and it seems like it'll be starting even earlier than usual this year with the spring releases of two very different, eagerly anticipated new movies arriving next month.

Shazam! expands the DC Comics offerings on the big screen with a much lighter superhero story that takes some cues from the comedy classic Big. Meanwhile, the new take on Stephen King's Pet Sematary is looking to give us some scares before the summer gets overtaken with explosions, superheroes, and all that other blockbuster stuff. But how are these movies tracking at the box office a few weeks out? It looks like the Pet Sematary and Shazam box office returns will help usher in an exciting start to April before Avengers: Endgame injects it with a whole lot of cash.

Shazam Box Office

Deadline has word that the Shazam box office estimates currently put the film on track for a $40-$45 million opening weekend when it arrives on April 5, 2019. Of course, there's a good chance that could rise in the next few weeks as marketing continues to get audiences more excited and aware of the film's arrival. That's certainly not as impressive as a Marvel Studios debut, and it's much less than Aquaman's $67 million opening weekend, but let's not forget that Shazam! is far lesser known in the public's mind.

One thing that will likely help raise the box office prospects of Shazam! (though potentially also reduce the opening weekend haul) is the advance screenings that will be taking place in select theaters on March 23, 2019. The Shazam! advance screenings from Fandango were just announced, and they're accessible to everyone who has the ability to buy a ticket at the closest theater playing the move. Good word of mouth from those screenings could result in a bigger opening weekend, but it could also take some of the crowd away from opening weekend as well. That didn't seem to hurt Aquaman too much, which did something similar, but it's just something to consider.

The fact that Warner Bros. is holding paid preview screenings at all is a good sign of confidence in the movie. More than likely, the studio wants word to spread to audiences who are on the fence or maybe haven't caught wind of what Shazam! even is. The younger audience will be key here, and since the film has been said to have a great family dynamic and a big heart at the center of it, maybe families will want to head out to see it with their kids.

Pet Sematary Box Office

As for Pet Sematary, we're not looking at any record-breaking box office performance here. This is an R-rated horror remake after all. But the new adaptation of Stephen King's classic novel is looking at a debut somewhere in the mid-$20 million range for opening weekend. There's a chance it could end up higher with a lower $30 million start, but it depends on how the buzz goes after the film's premiere at South by Southwest this weekend (we'll have a review, so stay tuned).

Pet Sematary will have the challenge of dealing with Shazam! since they share the same April 5, 2019 opening weekend. But it's meant to be counter-programming for those who couldn't care less about superhero action. Some people just want a good scare in the middle of spring, and if the trailer is any indicator, it looks like this could give it to them. There's also a chance the movie could end up being an even bigger hit after the latest adaptation of IT had plenty of people loving Stephen King's stories all over again. But we'll have to wait and see how the next few weeks go to know for sure.