While a proper Blue Beetle sequel could happen one day, according to the director, it all depends on the first movie fulfilling one condition.
Following The Flash, which was one of the biggest flops in Hollywood's history, DC Studios' next comic book adventure will focus on Xolo Maridueña's Jaime Reyes—also known as the young hero Blue Beetle.
But, when the movie is all said and done, what does the future look like for this new character?
At the very least, DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn recently confirmed that the hero will be "the first DCU character, for sure" once his big reboot hits. However, it's unclear if that means that fans should expect a proper sequel or if his future will be contained to team-ups and other characters' projects.
Blue Beetle 2 Can Happen on One Condition
The director summed it up by saying that "the [first] movie needs to make money for them to put more money in:"
“The way the machine works, the [first] movie needs to make money for them to put more money in, but for us, we've always seen it that way... We love the story so much. We believe in the product so much. We believe in an actor so much. We couldn't help but think about where his journey was going to go while we were creating this film... So is it wish fulfillment? Are we calling it out to the universe? Sure.”
“It was beautiful being able to do that and see that for James Gunn, this prologue, this first act of our saga is worthy of being canon for his superheroes so that he can embark into new adventures... I hope that means Blue Beetle is going to partner with other heroes, and I hope that means we get a Blue Beetle 2 and Blue Beetle 3.”
In a separate interview with Total Film, Soto revealed that they always wanted this debut film to "practically be the first act of a saga:"
"Our first movie, the way we wanted to do it, was always with the mentality that we wanted to do two more, at least. And taking the traditional three-act structure of a story, we wanted our first movie to practically be the first act of a saga."
When it comes to the box office gross needed to be profitable, 2019's Shazam! would be a good film to compare.
According to Deadline, the Zachary Levi-led superhero flick had a $100 production budget and scored $366 million worldwide. This led to the project earning a $74 million profit.
Blue Beetle had a comparable budget, coming in at $125 million. This means that the new DC Studios movie may need to pull in around $260 million to even break even and start earning any profit for Warner Bros.
That being said, as Blue Beetle has such a heavy Latin focus, many are expecting much of its revenue will come internationally, where the studio receives a lower portion of ticket sales. Therefore the threshold for the DC blockbuster to become profitable may actually be even higher than that rough $260 million estimate.
Will Blue Beetle Be a Success?
As it stands now, Deadline is predicting that Blue Beetle's opening weekend will fall anywhere between $25 million and $32 million.
In comparison, the original Shazam! film, which also introduced a new hero to audiences, earned $53.5 million for its opening weekend. Needless to say, it doesn't look so great for Blue Beetle.
However, Blue Beetle was originally conceived and developed as an HBO Max original movie, so one could argue any box office revenue at all is positive, as the initial plan would have seen no theatrical gross at all.
Angel Manuel Soto's movie has luck against it, seeing as it comes just before a massive reset of the DCU. Many fans have voiced their thoughts about how this year's slate of DC projects simply doesn't matter since a new timeline will be focused on after 2023 comes to a close.
This has led to a general lack of interest in entries such as Shazam! Fury of the Gods and The Flash (whose critical reception didn't help either). Odds are high that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will suffer a similar fate at the box office.
But, sequel or not, Gunn's given his word that Xolo Maridueña is sticking around in the new DCU. With a full reboot around the corner, however, there's no guarantee that the events of his newly released debut adventure will even matter.
If Blue Beetle 2 doesn't end up happening, perhaps the character may revert to his originally planned destination with a Max original series. Or maybe he could show up in the Booster Gold show as the two superheroes are often linked.
Next time fans see Blue Beetle, he could be the product of a completely different chain of events, unless, of course, the movie were to be placed into James Gunn's new DCU continuity.
While some aspects of the new DCU are clear (like the recasting of both Batman and Superman), others remain confusing at best. What's happening with Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman? What's the deal with Peacemaker Season 2?
Now fans can add the future of Maridueña's character and franchise to that list of questions.
Blue Beetle is now playing in theaters worldwide.