Blue Beetle is Set to Bomb, Everyone Tries to Act Surprised

In a development that will shock no one at all, Box Office Pro has Blue Beetle, the upcoming DC superhero movie from director Angel Manuel Soto, tracking for a $12-$17 million opening weekend and a $27-$55 million total domestic gross. That opening weekend prediction is lower than The Flash, Black Adam, and Shazam!: Fury of the Gods made when they opened, and all three of those are mega bombs. Blue Beetle has a reported budget of $120 million, meaning it’ll likely need to make around $300 million worldwide to break even; that looks like a fantasy with these numbers. The film opens on August 18, 2023, for the few people planning to see it.

The writing was on the wall for Blue Beetle. The trailers make it look like an Iron Man/Spider-Man mishmash with some of the tropes from really lame superhero movies like the wacky family and the boring, suit-wearing villain. Not to dismiss her acting abilities, but is anyone psyched to see Blue Beetle’s final showdown with… Susan Sarandon? The inclusion of George Lopez’s line about Batman being a fascist didn’t help either; it doesn’t mean the movie is necessarily woke, but people are extremely wary of that now, and any indication that they’re about to shell out money for an obnoxious lecture is enough to make them stay home. This is also what looks like a light, comedy-infused superhero film coming at a time when audiences are tired of forced humor. Moreover, considering the DCEU’s track record, it seems stupid to have gone ahead with this character. They’ve failed to make Superman, Batman, and Flash movies work, but they think people will line up for a character no one knew existed till the first trailer popped up online?

On top of that is the feeling of meaninglessness that is accompanying everything else DC releases this year because these dopes announced that James Gunn and Peter Safran are rebooting the DC film universe. They could have maybe gotten away with it if they didn’t start firing actors like Henry Cavill and the Rock (or “not hiring them again” because they “were never hired,” or whatever spin Gunn wants to put on it), but they dove in immediately and sunk their 2023 slate, or at least helped sink it. That Blue Beetle is opening in August is an indication of Warner Bros. essentially writing it off; August is the dumping ground for summer also-rans, not the month where you debut your new big superhero. I feel bad for Xolo Maridueña, and I hope he gets more opportunities in the future, but this was never going to be his big break.

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