“Barbie” has reigned over the box office with a historic, hot-pink theatrical run over the past four weeks, but now it’s facing its biggest challenge yet: DC’s latest superhero film, “Blue Beetle.” The comic book film, led by “Cobra Kai” star Xolo Maridueña, picked up $3.3 million in Thursday previews at the domestic box office.
It’ll be a close box office battle between “Barbie” and “Blue Beetle” (both from Warner Bros.), but the latter is tipped to come out on top in its opening weekend. “Blue Beetle” is projected to make between $25 million to $32 million this weekend, while “Barbie” is poised to add $17 million to $20 million in its fifth week.
Directed by Ángel Manuel Soto, “Blue Beetle” is DC’s first superhero movie led by a Latino actor. Maridueña plays Jaime Reyes, a teen who stumbles upon a mysterious piece of alien technology that encases him in an advanced exoskeleton suit. The powerful blue suit grants him extraordinary abilities, like flight, energy projection and super strength.
The cast includes Susan Sarandon, George Lopez, Adriana Barraza, Damián Alcazár, Raoul Max Trujillo, Elpidia Carrillo, Belissa Escobedo, Bruna Marquezine, Harvey Guillén and Becky G.
“Blue Beetle” is the third of four DC movies coming out this year, following “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” and “The Flash.” “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” arrives in December. “Shazam 2” made $3.4 million in previews on its way to a $30.1 million opening, while “The Flash” had $9.7 million in previews and a $55 million opening. However, both films fell short of expectations.
Also opening this weekend is Universal’s “Strays,” a raunchy, talking-dog comedy starring Will Forte and the voices of Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, Randall Park, Josh Gad and Sofía Vergara. The R-rated comedy is projected to open with $15 million to $17 million.