After four weeks atop the charts, Barbie may come up just shy of Blue Beetle’s opening weekend.
We are officially in the last stages of the 2023 Summer Movie Season. A season dominated by one of the biggest toy brands in history and one of the most important human beings to ever live. As those films, Barbie and Oppenheimer, have dominated the charts for the better part of a month, this weekend sees the real test as Warner Bros goes to war with itself as they launch the latest DC film Blue Beetle. So the question is will the latest offering from the DCEU topple Barbie or will it land just shy of the biggest movie of the year?
When tracking for Blue Beetle hit the internet about a month ago, it was looking like an out and out bomb with a predicted $17 million opening. However just a few weeks later those predictions got bumped up to the $30 million range as analysts saw heavy pre-sales within the Latin American community. To put that into perspective, Shazam! Fury of the Gods opened with $30.1 million back in March and that was deemed a horrendous opening especially when you consider it had no direct competition (it went up against the second weekend of Scream VI and the third weekend of Creed III.) Even if Blue Beetle opens anywhere near that number, the film still carries a price tag that was around $25 million more than Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
Blue Beetle is also seeing decent, if unremarkable reviews. Currently sitting at an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. I saw the film yesterday and found it be nothing at all new to the super hero genre. You can read my full 5/10 review here (or click on the you tube video to watch my spoiler free review of the film, expertly narrated by Kier Gomes.) To get down to the dollars and cents of it all: I do think Blue Beetle will slightly edge out Barbie for the top spot at the box office this weekend with around $25 million, but by next weekend Barbie will overtake Blue Beetle because I expect it to fall hard after audiences realize they are paying for the same old story, only this time in a beetle suit!
Barbie will likely fall to second place with another $22-25 million in her bank account, which currently sits at over $540 million, making it the highest grossing domestic release in Warner Bros 100 year history, taking down The Dark Knight. Barbie was not just content on taking on Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, she had to go after his Dark Knight as well!
Speaking of Oppenheimer, the film will lose most of its IMAX screens to Blue Beetle this weekend which may see the film take a steeper than normal decline, probably around 40%. That would put the film in the $11-13 million range for the weekend. Still solid numbers for what I consider to be one of the greatest films ever made. I saw it again for the umpteenth time this week and the more I see it, the more in awe I am of this absolute masterpiece. This time I really took focus of the amazing supporting cast in the film. In particular, I was absolutely mesmerized by the pitch perfect performances by David Krumholtz and Alden Ehrenreich. Obviously the big names of the film like Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr, and Emily Blunt are the focus of much of the praise for the film, but what Krumholtz and Ehrenreich do in this movie is the very definition of perfect supporting acting. I think Robert Downey Jr will rightfully take home the Best Supporting Actor trophy’s during this years awards season, but Krumholtz and Ehrenreich deserve to have their names highlighted on some nomination sheets. Hopefully SAG-Aftra and the AMPTP get their differences worked out soon because Oppenheimer deserves to win the Best Cast in a Motion Picture at this years SAG Awards.
The other big new release of the week is the R rated comedy Strays featuring the voice talents of Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx. The film is playing on a weekend that has been generally favorable to R rated comedies such as 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin ($21.4 million opening) and 2019’s Good Boys ($21.4 million opening). Right now tracking has this canine comedy hitting in the mid teens, which is about where I will keep this one. This summer has seen moderate success in the R rated comedy space with the Jennifer Lawrence fronted No Hard Feelings pulling in a little over $50 million at the domestic box office ($85.1 million worldwide). Although the July release of Joy Ride completely tanked with just $12.8 million domestic take ($14.8 million worldwide). The marketing for Strays reminds me of the 2018 R rated comedy The Happytime Murders which looked absolutely hysterical yet completely misfired at the box office with just $20.7 million domestic ($27.5 million worldwide.) We will have to see where the audience numbers hit this weekend to see if Strays will have any staying power.
Fifth place will likely go to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem with another $9-$10 million as the latest, and according to critics: greatest, Turtles film continues its slow burn approach at the box office. With no real animated competition hitting theaters until September 29 when Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie releases, I think Turtles should have some solid staying power.
Coming out in Limited release this weekend are two vastly different films that both star Tiffany Haddish. The first is Landscape with Invisible Hand which is an R rated sci fi comedy-drama based on the 2017 novel of the same name which is seeing a release in just 304 theaters. You can check out Chris Bumbray’s 8/10 review here. The second is the Wesley Snipes starring comedy Back on the Strip about male strippers in Vegas. Neither film is expected to make a dent in the top ten.
Do your weekend plans include seeing a delightful feature film on the big screen? If so, let us know what it is in the comments and don’t forget to check back on Saturday when we have a brief update on where the box office numbers are heading.
TOP FIVE PREDICTIONS
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/box-office-predictions-blue-beetle-to-narrowly-defeat-barbie/