Blue Beetle star Xolo Maridueña seemingly promised the upcoming film will feature cameos of recognizable DC characters despite a pattern of box office bombs attempting to market their films with cameos.
Speaking with TheWrap at the premiere of Barbie, Maridueña was asked, “Will DC fans get any people or cameos in there that we will be surprised by?”
He answered, “Well, look, if you are a DC fan this is the first time that Blue Beetle’s coming to the big screen so that’s going to be amazing. And I think, of course, like any DC movie we’re gonna see — it’s a superhero movie.”
When pressed on whether or not there’s a cameo he responded, “I don’t know. You got me here. I think if you’re a DC fan there’s going to be more than just one character that you’ll recognize. I can tell you that.”
DC has attempted to promote all of their 2023 releases with cameos and both films have cratered at the box office. First, in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the film’s marketing spoiled a Wonder Woman cameo by Gal Gadot in a television commercial.
The promotion of Gadot’s Wonder Woman in the commercial was a clear attempt at trying to get moviegoers to see the film simply based on her appearing in the film. The gimmick did not work. The movie had an opening weekend of $30.1 million domestically. It went on to earn a total of $57.6 million domestically and another $74.5 million internationally for a global gross of $132.1 million.
Given the film had a $125 million budget, the movie needed to gross around $312.5 million to break even using a standard 2.5x calculation. Given studios usually take around 60% of the box office grosses, Shazam! Fury of the Gods likely lost over $100 million for Warner Bros. Discovery.
Next, DC heavily promoted The Flash film with cameos. In fact, the first trailer they released for the film put Michael Keaton’s Batman front and center. The trailer was heavily criticized by viewers noting that it looked like they were promoting a Batman film rather than a Flash film. The trailers also showcased Ben Affleck’s Batman and Jeremy Irons’ Alfred.
On top of this, the film’s director Andy Muschietti confirmed a rumored cameo about Nicolas Cage as Superman. Ben Affleck also confirmed that Gal Gadot appeared as Wonder Woman.
The film’s producer and sister of Andy Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti noted the core idea of the film was the cameos. Speaking with Deadline’s Crew Call podcast she and her brother were asked, “The idea for the cameos was that always part of it before [DC Studios CEOs] James [Gunn] and Peter [Safran] arrived?”
She answered, “Always. That is the core idea of the film itself because of the chronobowl and the timelines. We wanted to have as many cameos as we possibly could of all the people that had been apart of DC and the history of DC.”
Like Shazam! Fury of the Gods before it, The Flash bombed at the box office with moviegoers. The movie had a domestic opening weekend of $55 million. It has gone on to gross $105.5 million domestically and another $156.8 million internationally for a global gross of $262.3 million.
The film will likely lose over $150 million for DC and Warner Bros. Discovery given its production budget is listed at $200 million. However, it could be even higher if the rumors about the production budget expanding to $250 million or $300 million end up being true.
Blue Beetle already put itself in a hole by having George Lopez’s character call Batman a fascist in the film’s first trailer signaling to ever more aware moviegoers that the film will have a hyper political message in it.
On top of that line, the director put his Twitter account in private after it was revealed that he hoped that President Donald Trump would be assassinated and that he believes Puerto Rico is a “slave colony.”
More recently the director, Angel Manuel Soto, also confirmed fears that the film would be hyper political by noting it includes an illegal immigration allegory.
Maridueña has also attempted to market the film via racial and ethnic identities. He told Empire, “The goal was to create a movie for a young me and a young Angel [Manuel Soto, the film’s director,] that said, ‘Hey, man, someone who looks like you or comes from a similar background can be a superhero.”
He added, “The second thing was to open more doors for people like us. As fun as it is to get into this superhero world where everything is [dialled up to] 110 per cent, [it’s] the characters… that I’ve [most] related to.”
What do you make of Maridueña seemingly promising cameos in the upcoming Blue Beetle film? Will it get you interested in seeing the film in theaters?