Box Office: DC's Blue Beetle Thursday Preview Numbers Are In

Blue Beetle's opening weekend will take the No. 1 spot from Barbie in its fifth week.

DC's Blue Beetle scurried into theaters Thursday with $3.3 million in previews. The first Latino superhero movie released into 3,400 theaters with showtimes starting at 2 p.m., averaging $971 per theater, according to The Numbers. Despite being the best-reviewed DC movie since 2022's The Batman on Rotten Tomatoes, Blue Beetle's Thursday numbers are the brand's lowest since 2020 — when Wonder Woman 1984 opened without previews in the throes of the pandemic. This summer's The Flash started its domestic box office run with $9.7 million in previews, only to flop with $268 million worldwide; that Thursday number came in ahead of Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam, which went on to gross $393 million globally after earning $7.6 million in previews last October.

Blue Beetle is just behind this year's Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which took in $3.4 million in Thursday previews and bombed at the box office with a total lifetime gross of $133.8 million. The Suicide Squad managed a $4.1 million Thursday despite a simultaneous release on HBO Max amid the pandemic in 2021. Directed by James Gunn, the R-rated movie would finish with $168.7 million globally. 

Tracking suggests Blue Beetle will open with $28 million – $32 million, which would be enough to dethrone Warner Bros.' own Barbie from the No. 1 spot in its fifth week. Greta Gerwig's blockbuster is expected to add another $22 million – $24 million to its current global haul of $1.2 billion. Also in theaters Thursday is the R-rated talking dog comedy Strays, which is all bark and no bite with $1.1 million in previews.

Sitting at 78% on the Tomatometer, Blue Beetle is certified fresh and fared better with critics than The Flash (64% fresh), Shazam! Fury of the Gods (49% rotten), and Black Adam (rotten at 39%). The critical reception is on the higher end for the DCEU, coming in behind only 2017's Wonder Woman (93%), The Suicide Squad (90%), 2019's Shazam! (90%), and 2020's Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (also at 78%). 

Directed by Angel Manuel Soto, Blue Beetle follows Jaime Reyes (Cobra Kai's Xolo Maridueña in his feature debut), who finds himself in possession of an ancient relic of alien biotechnology: the Scarab (voiced by Becky G). When the Scarab suddenly chooses Jaime to be its symbiotic host, he is bestowed with an incredible suit of armor capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the third-generation superhero to be known as the Blue Beetle after Ted Kord and Dan Garrett. 

"If DC fans are hoping for a solid, uncomplicated (no continuity knots), and most of all fun DC superhero movie that even teens and kids can enjoy –  Blue Beetle may very well be the first DC film in a decade that can deliver on all those fronts," Kofi Outlaw writes of the "fun but familiar" DC movie in a review for ComicBook. "That is an achievement in its own right." 

DC's Blue Beetle is now playing only in theaters.