Warner Bros. Pictures blamed Hurricane Hilary for Blue Beetle’s poor box office performance.
The film brought in $25 million at the domestic box office and another $18.6 million internationally for a global gross of $45.8 million.
The $25 million opening weekend gross domestically earned the film the second worst DCEU opening weekend ever. The only film it beat was Wonder Woman 1984, which had a day and date release on HBO Max, meaning it released in theaters the same day it released on HBO Max. That film had an opening weekend of $16.7 million domestically.
In response to this poor box office performance, Warner Bros. Pictures issued a statement to Exhibitor Relations blaming the poor performance on Hurricane Hilary.
They stated, “The storm’s impact is anticipated to be significant, particularly in Southern California where the film is over‐indexing.”
While Warner Bros. claims the storm’s impact on the box office was significant, it couldn’t have been too significant given the top market for the film was still Los Angeles despite the storm “flooding streets, triggering mudslides and leaving thousands without power” according to ABC 7 News.
Not only was Los Angeles the top market, three of the top five theaters were located in Los Angeles.
Given Los Angeles was still high performing, it’s hard to imagine the storm reduced the box office totals in that area significantly. Nevertheless, the film was still clearly performing poorly elsewhere across the United States.
As for why the film might have performed so poorly in its opening weekend, Box Office Pro revealed that only 27% of the audience going to see Blue Beetle was white. They also note that 39% of the audience, a plurality, was Hispanic.
This could lend credence to the theory posited here at Bounding Into Comics that the marketing for the film based on identity politics turned off many non-Latino moviegoers.
Given the film’s poor opening weekend box office, analyst OMB Reviews predicts the film will not be profitable.
He detailed that the film as it stands now is $150 million in the hole, “We got Blue Beetle at $43.4 [million]. That means it’s sitting around $150 million in the red. The projected budget is $120 million … This film only opening to $43.4 million, the chances of it getting even to a $250 million amount, which would be that low end break even point if it did cost only $100 million is not very likely.”
OMB Reviews continued, “And I base that off a few different factors. For one, The Flash only got $263 million … it was barely able to eke out a little over $250 million and that film opened to $130 million worldwide. Blue Beetle’s only opened up to $43 [million].
He then pointed to Shazam! Fury of the Gods, “You get to Shazam! 2 that film opened up to $65.5 million and where did that film end up by the end of its run? That film ended up at $132 [million]. So you’re looking at this movie Blue Beetle probably coming in closer to where Shazam! 2 did and it’s really going to come down to how big that second weekend drop off is.”
Finally, he predicted, “I’m predicting right now it’s looking like Blue Beetle will end up a box office flop and failure. And seeing that the movie is pretty terrible objectively speaking, I’m happy to see that.”
What do you make of Warner Bros. blaming Hurricane Hilary for Blue Beetle’s terrible opening weekend?