DC’s latest film, “Blue Beetle,” has hit theaters amid a mixture of positive reviews and a challenging start at the box office. Serving as one of the final movies in the old DC Extended Universe (DCUE) before the transition to the new phase, the film introduces Xolo Maridueña as the titular hero in his cinematic debut. Originally intended as a streaming exclusive for DC’s Max platform, the decision to shift to a theatrical release is being scrutinized following early box office figures.
During Thursday’s preview screenings, “Blue Beetle” managed to generate $3.3 million in ticket sales. This performance is projected to translate into an opening weekend gross of approximately $28 to $33 million. To gain context, it’s worth comparing these figures to previous DC releases, such as “The Flash” and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.” While “The Flash” brought in $9.7 million from its Thursday previews, the different budget and marketing scale should be taken into account. A more fitting comparison is with “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” which scored $30.1 million in its opening weekend after a $3.4 million Thursday preview.
Despite robust pre-release fan engagement efforts, early photos indicate that audiences aren’t rushing to theaters to witness DC’s latest cinematic offering. Social media posts depicting largely empty theater seat reservations raise concerns about the film’s initial turnout. However, these images don’t necessarily reflect the full picture, and the film still has the weekend to potentially turn things around based on positive word-of-mouth.
One Twitter user shared an image showing limited reservations for “Blue Beetle” at a large AMC theater – only 16 tickets sold across four showings. Yet, this snapshot is slightly misleading as it’s taken a day before the actual showtimes. While more seats are likely to have been purchased since then, the overall emptiness of the theater, compared to the packed screenings usually seen with Marvel and DC releases, remains a topic of discussion.
Assessing the film’s box office performance is complex due to its unique circumstances. Although it’s on par with the financial track of “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” which was viewed as underperforming, the fact that “Blue Beetle” was originally slated as a streaming exclusive might lower the financial expectations. Furthermore, if positive reviews translate into strong word-of-mouth, the film might exhibit better longevity at the box office compared to recent DC projects. Ultimately, the fate of “Blue Beetle” at the box office will be influenced by its ongoing performance over the weekend and the narrative it weaves among audiences.