Many Critics Claim Dwayne Johnson Is the Reason ‘Black Adam’ and ‘Shazam 2’ Did Underwhelming Numbers

Shazam: Fury of the Gods debuted last week and, unfortunately, didn’t meet expectations. The film only made $30.5 million during its opening weekend. 

Many critics believe Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is to blame for Fury of the Gods’ underwhelming performance. According to Yahoo, The Rock “undercut “Shazam. Yahoo suggests that The Rock promoted a face-off between Black Adam and Superman instead of the connection to Zachary Levi’s character. Shazam. 

“There’s plenty to blame for the underwhelming grosses for “Black Adam” and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” including middling reviews and the mixed message sent by the DC Studios revamp,” Scott Mendelson writes for Yahoo. “Like “The Lego Movie,” “Shazam 2” might be another example of a movie where the audience saw the original as family-friendly fare but perceived the sequel as a kid flick with limited appeal. Still, Johnson’s public and private actions seemed to play an undeniable role.”

Mendelson also wrote: “Dwayne tries to sell himself as bigger than the movie,” said a high-ranking Hollywood executive who asked for anonymity in order to discuss talent matters frankly while speaking to TheWrap. “He’s one of the few people who always thinks he’s the most important person in any situation or room.”

Yahoo also reports that The Rock spent ample time praising his character’s connection to Shazam as opposed to the “theoretical clash.” 

“Dwayne tries to sell himself as bigger than the movie,” one Hollywood executive told TheWrap. “Instead of making a movie, he wants to extend his brand and make a brand centered on himself.” 

Another Hollywood executive told TheWrap, “By alienating the established property that his character was born out of, and refusing to integrate with other established characters, [Johnson] systematically crippled two franchises, and has harmed DC in the process.”