Moviemaking is a tough business. You need to have a sense if humor if you’re going to survive it.
Just ask David F. Sandberg, the director of such hits as Lights Out and Shazam and now, the director of the flop, Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The sequel to the popular hit based on the DC Comics superhero has only grossed $132 million worldwide to date. That’s $200 million less than the first Shazam!
The movie also got very mixed reviews; it stands at exactly 50 percent on Letterboxd. It got a much worse score than that from Sandberg himself, who maintains an account on the social media site where he gives all of his movies satirical negative reviews. For Fury of the Gods, Sandberg gave the film a half-star (the lowest possible rating on Letterboxd) and wrote “Billy and Shazam have different personalities. I really wish someone would point this out to the director. Unwatchable!”
SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODSWarner Bros.
In fact, Sandberg has given all of his features sarcastic half-star reviews on Letterboxd. Of the first Shazam, he wrote …
How could he catch a bus by the windshield?! Worst movie ever!! The average bus weighs between 25,000 and 40,000 pounds (11 to 18 metric tons). Not only would his hands go straight through any windshield (or any metal parts of the bus for that matter) but stopping that much mass in such an abrupt manner would turn the bus into an accordion and the passengers would be mush … I know he couldn’t fly at that point but why didn’t he just superspeed up to the bridge and grab the bus from behind to gently pull it back up? Garbage.
His review of his 2016 horror feature Lights Out was much more succinct:
Not enough jumpscares.
Sandberg is not the first big-name director to give his own movie a negative review on Letterboxd. In 2019, four years after the movie was released to disastrous reviews and box office, Josh Trank posted a two-star review of his Fantastic Four to the site. Trank’s review not quite as harsh as Sandberg’s, but it was a bit more sincere. (“I was expecting it to be much worse than it was. I literally haven’t seen it since like two weeks before it came out, and I was in a heavily f—ing traumatized state of mind,” he wrote.)
As for Sandberg, he’s a talented guy, capable of a lot better than Shazam! Fury of the Gods. He’ll bounce back and make a better film next time, and then leave it another bad review on Letterboxd.
The Worst Billion-Dollar Blockbusters
All of these movies grossed more than $1 billion at the box office. And they all stink.