‘Blue Beetle’ unseats ‘Barbie’ atop box office, ending four-week reign

‘Blue Beetle’ unseats ‘Barbie’ atop box office, ending four-week reign

‘Blue Beetle’ unseats ‘Barbie’ atop box office, ending four-week reign

It was a good news/bad news weekend for "Blue Beetle," the latest superhero film to hit North American theaters and the first built around a live-action Latino protagonist.

The DC Studios/Warner Bros. production topped the charts for the Friday-through-Sunday period and even dethroned "Barbie," that reigning queen of pinkness, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said on Aug. 20.

But its estimated take of $25.4 million was "the lowest DC superhero debut of this era" other than 2021's money-losing "Wonder Woman 1984."

"Beetle" stars 22-year-old American actor Xolo Mariduena - who is of mixed Mexican, Cuban and Ecuadoran descent - as a new college graduate whose body is taken over by the mysterious Scarab, which gives him superhuman powers.

Analyst David A. Gross said that while ticket sales for "Beetle" were only a third the average for new superhero flicks, reviews have been good and overseas prospects are strong.

"Barbie," in its fifth week out, scored $21.5 million in ticket sales, "a huge result at this point in its theatrical run," according to Variety. The Warner Bros. fantasy-comedy has now taken in an eye-popping $1.27 billion globally.

In third, also in its fifth week out, was Universal's "Oppenheimer," at $10.6 million. The historical drama about the origins of the first atomic bomb has passed the $700 million mark globally.

Fourth place went to Paramount's animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem," at $8.4 million. Its huge voice cast includes Maya Rudolph, Ayo Edebiri, John Cena, Jackie Chan, Ice Cube and Paul Rudd.

And in fifth was Universal's new talking-dog comedy "Strays," at $8.3 million, a concerning start for a movie made on a $46 million budget.

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