Blue Beetle Box Office: Is It a Major Flop for DC?

By David Thompson Posted:
Blue Beetle DC

DC's latest film Blue Beetle got off to a slow start at the box office, but will it ultimately make money for Warner Bros. (WB)?

Directed by Ángel Manuel Soto and starring Xolo Maridueña, Blue Beetle opened to just $18 million internationally, the worst international opening weekend in DCEU history.

However, the film was reviewed reasonably well, earning a 78% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and giving itself a decent chance to draw more audiences to theaters.

Has Blue Beetle Earned Warner Bros. Money?

Blue Beetle movie poster
DC

To date, Blue Beetle has grossed over $60 million domestically, passing fellow DC flop Shazam! Fury of the Gods

According to box office insider Luiz Fernando, it's likely to ultimately earn $70-$75 million in North America. This would make it the 11th-highest-earning DCEU film at the domestic box office.

In total, Blue Beetle has earned over $106 million globally, ranking dead last in the comic book franchise. It's an embarrassing look when you consider films like Wonder Woman 1984 and The Suicide Squad weren't released in theaters exclusively during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Needless to say, Warner Bros. has yet another DCEU flop on its hands.

As Variety reported on September 2, the film "likely won’t be able to justify its production budget north of $100 million."

It is important to keep in mind that when Blue Beetle was originally greenlit it was under a previous regime at WB and DC and was meant to be a straight-to-streaming original.

So, in a way, the expectations for the origin film weren't high and the relatively low budget reflects that. As well as a marketing campaign that appeared conservative compared to other big WB films like Barbie or even The Flash.

The Impact of Blue Beetle on the New DCU

The continued box office flops in 2023 for DC films have been nothing but a reminder as to why WB hired James Gunn and Peter Safran to redirect the sinking ship.

The comic book company, filled with some of the most well-known and beloved superheroes, is one of Warner Bros.' most valuable pieces of IP.

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav recently said franchises like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and (you guessed it) DC have been "underused" in the past.

During a presentation at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia and Technology Conference, via The Wrap, Zaslav added, "We think there's a lot of shareholder value in attaching a 10-year DC — a real plan around DC..."

A part of that new plan by James Gunn is to reboot most of the universe, starting with Superman: Legacy in 2025, replacing Henry Cavill with David Corenswet as the new Man of Steel.

However, not all of the past will be lost, Gunn has mentioned that Xolo Maridueña's Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle is the first DCU character, but the film itself isn't a part of his first chapter called Gods and Monsters.

Despite the commercial failure of Blue Beetle and several other recent DC films, the company is focused on the future and would not hit the panic button unless Legacy flops in a couple of years.

A film like The Flash may have genuinely hurt the brand of DC, but Blue Beetle's lack of success was expected and many fans enjoyed the film, so not all is lost.

Blue Beetle is currently playing in theaters and is expected to be available on digital VOD platforms on Tuesday, September 26.