The DCEU has been having a tough run at the box office, with its latest movie, The Flash, being one of the biggest flops in Hollywood history. The blockbuster came as the third miss in a row for the DCEU after Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods suffered a similarly disappointing fate for Warner Bros. Discovery.
Going into Blue Beetle, the penultimate movie to come from the old DC regime ahead of Aquaman 2 - history was projected to repeat itself, with analysts expecting a $12-17 million domestic opening.
DC's Blue Beetle Suffers Awful Box Office Opening
According to box office expert Luiz Fernando, the Warner Bros.-distributed Blue Beetle suffered the worst-ever opening for a DCEU movie overseas with an estimated $18 million across 61 markets in its first five days, coming in even below the disastrous Shazam! Fury of the Gods and the pandemic release of Wonder Woman 1984.
Warner Bros.' latest DC movie was topped up by a $25 million domestic debut, bringing the worldwide total for Blue Beetle's opening to $43.4 million worldwide.
Of the international opening, $2.1 million came from Brazil and $2.7 million from Mexico - where many expected the movie to find success due to its Latin focus.
The international opening set a new low for the DCEU, taking in less than Shazam 2's $34.6 million over 77 markets and Wonder Woman 1984's $38.5 million across just 39 markets at reduced capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comparing Blue Beetle to other recent DC releases, The Flash opened with $75 million internationally across 78 markets (Variety) and Black Adam took in $75.9 million from its 76 non-domestic territories (Deadline).
Warner Bros.' potential losses on Blue Beetle will be mitigated by its low production budget, which was approximately $104 million, making the film one of the DCEU's cheapest next to 2019's Shazam! and 2020's Birds of Prey.
Blue Beetle's Failure Spells Trouble for the Future
James Gunn declared that Xolo Maridueña's Blue Beetle is "the first DCU character" indicating he will be sticking around after the upcoming reboot. So, one has to wonder whether this will remain the case now that his debut movie has failed to attract much attention from audiences.
As the one condition for Blue Beetle 2 to happen ahead of the first movie's release was for it to "make money," the chances of a sequel now appear slim. But that doesn't necessarily doom the chances of Jaime Reyes finding his way into the new universe, even if that only comes through other characters' projects.
Then again, maybe the character will have a stronger chance once the reboot has taken place. Many of DC's latest movies seem to be suffering due to the promise of an impending reboot, essentially meaning these stories simply won't matter in the long run as they will all be erased after this year.
DC suffering its fourth disappointment in a row only spells trouble for its final movie of the year, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Expectations were already low for the Jason Momoa sequel, but its odds of success now feel even lower, despite its predecessor having turned over $1 billion.
Blue Beetle is playing now in theaters.