After 6 Weekends, ‘Blue Beetle’ Finally Surpasses It’s Production Budget At The Box Office, Movie Has Lost Tens Of Millions Of Dollars

Xolo Maridueña as Blue Beetle in Blue Beetle (2023), DC Studios

Angel Manuel Soto’s Blue Beetle film finally surpassed it’s estimated production budget after six weekends in theaters.

Jamie Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) breaks his fall in Blue Beetle (2023), DC Studios

The-Numbers reports the film grossed $1.8 million at the domestic box office in its sixth weekend to brings its domestic box office total to $69.8 million. It’s grossed another $53 million at international theaters for a  global box office total of $122.9 million.

The outlet reports the film has an estimated production budget of $120 million. However, production estimates for the film vary. Deadline reported back in August that the production budget was $104 million while Variety reported it was $125 million.

Xolo Maridueña as Blue Beetle in Blue Beetle (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

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Regardless, the film has lost millions of dollars for DC and is just the latest example of how big a mistake the company made when DC Studios CEO James Gunn announced he would be resetting DC with Superman: Legacy back at the end of January.

If you use the most charitable production budget of $104 million, the film has currently lost $82.2 million, which uses a 2.5x factor that factors in the box office split that studios take compared to theaters as well as the marketing costs for the film.

However, if the production budget is at the $120 million mark, the film has lost Warner Bros. probably around $106 million. At the $125 million production budget mark, the loss bloats to around $113 million.

Xolo Maridueña as Blue Beetle in Blue Beetle (2023), DC Studios

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These losses are not out of the ordinary either. Every single DC live-action film that has been released since James Gunn announced that his DC Universe would reset the DC film continuity has racked up millions in losses for the company.

At the end of January, Gunn declared, “First, we have Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Shazam has always been off kind of in his own part of the DCU so he connects very well. That moves directly into The Flash, a fantastic movie that I really love, that resets the entire DCU universe.”

“And then to move into Blue Beetle, a fantastic film about a kid who is a marvelous part of the DCU and then into Aquaman 2, which leads directly into our next few projects,” he stated.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods only raked in $132.1 million. The film had an $125 million production budget. That means the film lost around $108 million.

The Flash grossed only $267.9 million at the global box office based off an estimated $200 million production budget albeit there are credible reports that the production budget was much higher with CBC reporting the film costs $220 million. There are rumors the film cost around $300 million as well.

Looking at the most charitable production budget of $200 million the movie lost around $139 million. At the $220 million production mark it lost around $169 million. As for the $300 million mark, if those rumors are true it lost around $289 million.

Dark Flash in Flash

Dark Flash in the Chronobowl of The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Entertainment

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If you look at the most charitable losses for each of these three films, the losses total $329.2 million.

It seems clear that announcing Gunn’s DC Universe and specifically claiming it would reset the current state of DC continuity in films has lost the company millions of dollars.

Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, and Ezra Miller (again) as The Flash, Supergirl, and The Flash (again) in Andy Muschietti’s, “The Flash.”

Whether or not Gunn’s Superman: Legacy and DC Universe can change the current trajectory is yet to be determined, but it’s clear it needs to be wildly successful to recover the massive amounts of money the company burned moving ahead with the reset.

However, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO expects the company will actually incur more losses. During comments made at the MoffetNathanson Conference, Zaslav said, “We’ve greenlit a number of projects and I think it’s one of the assets that was really underutilized and underdeveloped in the company. And we also have this philosophy at the company of no content before it’s time. This year, we don’t want to put a movie out or a game out unless we think it’s our best work.”

He then noted, “Even if we do that, half the time or two-thirds of the time it’s not gonna work. But that’s the new cultural philosophy of the company. We’re a storytelling company, the best creatives fight to make our content the best it could be.”

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav explains how it turned a $50 million streaming profit in Q1 via CNBC Television, YouTube

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So far the company has three major losses since their DC Universe reset announcement. Next up is Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. It’s unclear whether or not it will break the trend or continue it.

After Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is Gunn’s Superman: Legacy. It will be the real test on whether Zaslav’s gamble on Gunn pays off.

(L-R): Karen Gillan, James Gunn, and Chris Pratt on the set of Marvel Studios’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3. Photo by Jessica Miglio. © 2023 MARVEL.

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