New York — The highly anticipated DC superhero film "Blue Beetle" has made an impressive debut at the box office, generating an estimated $25.4 million in ticket sales over the weekend. This remarkable achievement has dethroned the long-standing champion "Barbie," which had an extraordinary run that painted movie theaters in shades of pink for an entire month.
Despite facing tough competition, Greta Gerwig's "Barbenheimer," the highest grossing Warner Bros. release domestically, held its ground and secured the second spot with $21.5 million in its fifth weekend. The film has amassed a staggering $567.3 million in North America and an astonishing $1.28 billion worldwide.
The success story continues for Christopher Nolan's epic film "Oppenheimer," which brought in $10.6 million during its fifth week. With a domestic total of $285.2 million, "Oppenheimer" now holds the title of the biggest box-office hit never to claim the number one spot on the weekend box office charts. Previously, this unusual record was held by 2016's "Sing," which earned $270.3 million while competing against "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "Hidden Figures."
Universal Pictures' "Oppenheimer" has performed exceptionally well internationally, accumulating an estimated $717.8 million in global box office revenue thus far.
On the contrary, "Blue Beetle," featuring Xolo Maridueña as the lead, fell slightly below expectations with a more modest opening weekend. As the first DC movie showcasing a Latino superhero, Warner Bros. initially intended for "Blue Beetle" to be a streaming-only release. However, they made the decision to bring it to theaters during the typically quiet late summer period, offering audiences the chance to experience this groundbreaking film on the big screen.
With a production budget of approximately $105 million, "Blue Beetle" is comparatively more cost-effective than the average superhero film. Interestingly, it is one of the final releases from the previous management at DC Studios, with James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over as the new creative team last year.
The Rise of "Blue Beetle" and the Challenges Faced by "Strays"
The film "Blue Beetle," directed by Ángel Manuel Soto and written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, has garnered solid reviews, surpassing the performance of its three predecessors from DC this year ("The Flash," "Black Adam," and "Shazam! Fury of the Gods"). With a fresh rating of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, "Blue Beetle" stands out as a rare comic-book film that showcases a Hispanic cast in the leading roles.
However, despite its critical success, the film faced some tough challenges along the way. Notably, it had to compete with the unexpected enduring popularity of "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer." Moreover, Southern California was bracing itself for the potential impact of Hurricane Hilary, which threatened to hamper ticket sales in the region (although Los Angeles remained its primary market). Adding to the difficulties, the ongoing actors' strike prevented the "Blue Beetle" cast from actively promoting the movie.
On the other hand, "Strays," the R-rated canine comedy produced by Comcast's Universal Pictures, proved to have a softer impact. Despite boasting a voice cast including renowned actors Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx, the comedy only managed to secure the fifth spot with $8.4 million in sales. While comedies have been struggling in theaters lately, "Strays" faced an additional challenge due to the unavailability of its star-studded cast for promotional efforts.
In a close race, "Strays" was narrowly surpassed by "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem," which earned $8.4 million in its third weekend, bringing its domestic total to an impressive $88.1 million.
Here are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at theaters in the United States and Canada, according to Comscore. The final domestic figures will be released on Monday:
- "Blue Beetle" - $25.4 million
- "Barbie" - $21.5 million
- "Oppenheimer" - $10.6 million
- "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem" - $8.4 million
- "Strays" - $8.3 million
- "Meg 2: The Trench" - $6.7 million
- "Talk to Me" - $3.2 million
- "Haunted Mansion" - $3 million
- "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One" - $2.7 million
- "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" - $2.5 million
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