Since hitting theaters on Friday, August 18, Blue Beetle — the latest superhero film from DC — has made just $27 million at the domestic box office. Given that its budget sits at around $100 million, the film is all but guaranteed to be a loss for Warner Bros.
The struggles of Blue Beetle certainly shouldn’t be surprising following the performance of The Flash earlier this summer, which has gone on to become one of the biggest box office bombs of all time.
Given that The Flash — a film that features two different versions of Batman, including the return of Michael Keaton’s — was such a box office trainwreck, the difficulties Blue Beetle is facing could be seen coming from a mile away.
And that difficulty is the fact that, as things are currently constructed — which is this weird purgatory between the death of the DCEU and the birth of the DCU in 2025 — audiences are seemingly done with DC.
Yet, despite all of this, Warner Bros, the studio behind the film, said in a statement to Exhibitor Relations Co. that Tropical Storm Hillary is responsible for a “significant impact” on Blue Beetle’s performance at the box office.
“The storm’s impact is anticipated to be significant, particularly in Southern California where the film is over‐indexing,” Warner Bros said.
Direct from WB HQ aka BB spin control–
"The storm's impact is anticipated to be significant, particularly in Southern California where
the film is over‐indexing."
— Exhibitor Relations Co. (@ERCboxoffice) August 20, 2023
The studio’s claim isn’t entirely baseless, of course, as Blue Beetle focuses on Jamie Reyes, a Mexican-American superhero. Southern California, and Los Angeles in particular, obviously has a high concentration of potential Mexican-American audiences.
Still, Blue Beetle — a film that was greenlit under the previous regime that was in charge prior to James Gunn’s arrival — was always going to face an uphill battle toward profitability.
Perhaps most cruel of all is that Blue Beetle has been well-received by both critics and fans alike, as the film currently holds a 77% critics score and a 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.