It was a good news/bad news weekend for “Blue Beetle,” the latest superhero film to hit North American theaters and the first built around a live-action Latino protagonist.
The DC Studios/Warner Bros. production topped the charts for the Friday-through-Sunday period and even dethroned “Barbie,” that reigning queen of pinkness, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday.
But its estimated take of $25.4 million was “the lowest DC superhero debut of this era” other than 2021’s money-losing “Wonder Woman 1984.”
“Beetle” stars 22-year-old American actor Xolo Mariduena — who is of mixed Mexican, Cuban and Ecuadoran descent — as a new college graduate whose body is taken over by the mysterious Scarab, which gives him superhuman powers.
Analyst David A. Gross said that while ticket sales for “Beetle” were only a third the average for new superhero flicks, reviews have been good and overseas prospects are strong.
“Barbie,” in its fifth week out, scored $21.5 million in ticket sales, “a huge result at this point in its theatrical run,” according to Variety. The Warner Bros. fantasy-comedy has now taken in an eye-popping $1.27 billion globally.
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In third, also in its fifth week out, was Universal’s “Oppenheimer,” at $10.6 million. The historical drama about the origins of the first atomic bomb has passed the $700 million mark globally.
Fourth place went to Paramount’s animated “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” at $8.4 million. Its huge voice cast includes Maya Rudolph, Ayo Edebiri, John Cena, Jackie Chan, Ice Cube and Paul Rudd.
And in fifth was Universal’s new talking-dog comedy “Strays,” at $8.3 million, a concerning start for a movie made on a $46 million budget.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
“Meg 2: The Trench” ($6.7 million)
“Talk to Me” ($3.2 million)
“Haunted Mansion” ($3 million)
“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” ($2.7 million)
“The Last Voyage of the Demeter” ($2.5 million)