Warner Bros. has finally earned back the benefit of the doubt when it comes to its all-important superhero movies: “Shazam!” became the studio’s third nonsequel comic-book hit in a row over the weekend, arriving to applause from critics and stout ticket sales of nearly $156 million worldwide.

“We really want these movies to stand on their own, with filmmakers best suited to the characters,” Toby Emmerich, chairman of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said by phone on Sunday morning. “We’re all feeling deservedly really good.”

“Shazam!” was the No. 1 movie in North America, collecting $53.5 million over the weekend, according to Comscore, which compiles box-office data. Paid previews in partnership with Fandango in late March, designed to prompt positive chatter online, added $3.33 million. “Shazam!” also had a solid start in countries like Mexico and Russia.

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