Despite a smaller start at the domestic box office than the similarly-budgeted “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” (which reportedly cost $125 million to produce), “Blue Beetle” does have a shot at outpacing the Zachary Levi-led sequel in the long run. “Fury of the Gods” suffered a precipitous 69 percent drop in its second weekend at the box office and continued on a rapid downhill slide from there, in part due to facing competition from “John Wick: Chapter 4” after a week in theaters, and “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” a week later.
“Blue Beetle” will have to try and hold its own next weekend against “Gran Turismo,” which could court similar audiences with its PG-13 rating and broadly similar storyline of a young man suddenly getting a wild opportunity. But looking beyond that, September’s schedule is mostly dominated by R-rated action movies (“The Equalizer 3,” “Expand4bles”) and horror movies (“The Nun II,” “Saw X”), and “Blue Beetle” is the only superhero offering in town until “The Marvels” arrives in November.
The primarily Hispanic cast and authentic Mexican cultural identity in “Blue Beetle” are an asset at the box office; there’s a strong moviegoing tradition among Hispanic audiences, who make up around 19 percent of the US population but around 30 percent of box office ticket sales. According to exit polling by PostTrak (via THR), 40 percent of ticket buyers for “Blue Beetle” were Latino.
Even if “Blue Beetle” does surpass the $133 million worldwide gross of “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” it will still have a long way to go before hitting its break-even point, which we estimate to be in the region of $250 million. Still, with original content exclusive to streaming services proving to be a bit of a money pit, the theatrical release for “Blue Beetle” is nonetheless likely to leave Warner Bros. Discovery in a better position than if the movie had simply been dumped straight to Max.