This week, Jaime Reyes joins Miles Morales as one of the few superheroes created in this century to get their own feature film on the big screen. Blue Beetle also has the distinction of being the first Latino DC hero to hold down his own film, a milestone that Marvel Studios has yet to match. Additionally, Blue Beetle features rising star Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai) in the leading role as Jaime, and this movie could go a long way toward making Maridueña into a box office draw.
Jaime is a college graduate who unwittingly receives one of the most powerful weapons in the universe: a sentient alien Scarab (voiced by Becky G) that has its own mind, and the ability to bond with its host. The Scarab also bestows incredible powers including an exoskeleton and weapons that can be shaped and created from the imagination of the user. If Jaime and the Scarab can get on the same page then they could become a force for good. But first, they have to elude Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon), a malevolent businesswoman who wants the Scarab’s power for herself.
Adriana Barraza also stars in the film alongside Damián Alcázar, Raoul Max Trujillo, George Lopez, Elpidia Carrillo as Rocio Reyes, Belissa Escobedo, Bruna Marquezine, and Harvey Guillén. Ángel Manuel Soto directed the film from a script by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer.
And now, it’s time to answer the question that brought you here.
No, but it was originally supposed to be. When the film was announced in February 2021, Blue Beetle was slated to be an HBO Max original movie. Warner Bros.’s previous owners bet heavily on streaming, and they planned other HBO Max DC films including Batgirl. However, the current regime at Warner Bros. Discovery pulled an abrupt U-turn and relegated Batgirl to infamy when it was shelved at a $70 million loss so that WBD could get a $20 million tax break. Blue Beetle was spared that fate and upgraded to a full theatrical release.
Whether that will work out in Blue Beetle‘s favor is still the big question. Warner Bros. Barbie has dominated the box office for the last month, and it hasn’t been close. And even at its highest projections, Blue Beetle is likely to open far lower than this summer’s biggest flop: The Flash. But because Blue Beetle could have crossover appeal without The Flash‘s baggage, there’s a chance it could outperform expectations and possibly take the weekend. We won’t know for sure until Saturday at the earliest.
Yes, it will. It was originally made for Max, and to Max it will return. Of course, the hope at WBD is that Blue Beetle can run for a few weeks in theaters and become profitable before it moves on to a streaming afterlife. If Blue Beetle pulls a Flash and arrives DOA then its streaming premiere will be much sooner than anticipated. In the worst case scenario, it would arrive on Max next month. And the best-case scenario would be for Blue Beetle to have a long stay in theaters and make the leap to streaming in October or November.
Blue Beetle is now playing in theaters.
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