‘Blue Beetle’ $3.3M, ‘Strays’ $1.1M In Thursday Previews – Deadline

Even though kids are heading back to school, the summer box office isn’t giving up yet, and there’s a chance we could near $4 billion thanks to the final act power of Barbie and Oppenheimer. Warner Bros is hoping the first Latino superhero movie, Blue Beetle, will stoke its core moviegoers; that DC title seeing $3.3M last night in previews that began at 2PM from 3,400 locations, while Universal is looking to give guys something to laugh at after Oppenheimer with the R-rated bawdy doggie comedy, Strays, grossing $1.1M from showtimes that began at 5PM at 2,700 theaters.

Blue Beetle is expected to take the weekend with $28M-$32M, the hope being that Latino and Hispanic moviegoers fuel it with walk-up business. The Angel Manuel Soto directed movie is expected to take No. 1 away from Warner Bros.’ Barbie in her fifth weekend, that Mattel doll expected to stay beautiful with $22M-$24M.

Blue Beetle‘s previews aren’t that far from Shazam: Fury of the Gods which did $3.4M before making $11.7M on its first Friday, $30.1M over three-days. That DC sequel, which cost $125M, was a major disappointment, its wattage deafened by the news of the new DC universe that James Gunn and Peter Safran are building. While a $30M start for Blue Beetle would be notable for a Latino-Hispanic movie –a great comp here is Alita: Battle Angel which opened to $28.5M ($37.2M over 4)–that opening for this DC superhero likely won’t trigger a sequel. Blue Beetle cost a reported net of $104M, and was originally conceived for HBO Max, but then the studio pivoted to theatrical after a solid test screening. Reviews haven’t been shabby for Blue Beetle at 79% certified fresh, higher than Shazam 2‘s 49% Rotten, but lower than Shazam‘s 90%. Shazam received an A CinemaScore, the sequel a B+. Shazam Fury of the Gods died at the domestic box office back in the spring with a $57.6M final.

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Strays is expected to do in the teens; critics hate the comedy already at 56% Rotten (vs. Uni’s pre-pandemic August 2019 Good Boys which had 80% fresh). Strays‘ preview figure is under that of Good Boy’ $2.1M which turned into an $8.3M Friday, and $21.4M 3-day.

Among titles in regular release, Barbie made $3.8M yesterday at 4,178 theaters, -15% from Wednesday, for a running total through four weeks of $545.7M.

Uni’s Oppenheimer was second with $2M on Thursday at 3,761, -20%, for a four-week running total of $$274.6M. The Christopher Nolan-directed 3-hour drama looks to do another $12M.

Paramount/Nickelodeon/Point Grey’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem grossed $1.3M at 3950, -17% for a running two-week and two day total of $79.7M.

Fourth is Warner’s The Meg 2: The Trench did $1M yesterday, -18% from Wednesday, for a running two week cume of $59.8M.

A24’s Talk to Me was fifth with an estimated $600K at 2,379 theaters, -16%, for a $33.8M three-week running total.

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