Blue Beetle projections: Box office predictions for DC Comics movie

Christopher Baggett
blue beetle poster

The upcoming release of DCU film Blue Beetle has a lot on the line, potentially closing out the Snyderverse and starting James Gunn’s DCU. The fate of the character on film rests on how it does compared to box office disasters like The Flash.

All eyes are on Blue Beetle, the upcoming DC film that could be either a swan song or a triumphant start. The film was made under the previous DC movie leadership at Warner Bros. but now serves as a potential first round in James Gunn’s hotly-anticipated DCU

The film already has an interesting history. Much like the canceled Batgirl film, Blue Beetle was intended to release on Max. Those plans changed amid a renewed focus on theatrical releases from WB after the film was received well.

Still, the odds are against the film. Blue Beetle faces an uphill battle after years of underwhelming comic book movies from both Marvel and DC. While the films are still doing well, the big box offices of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame seem to be a thing of the past. 

How much will Blue Beetle need to make? 

Blue Beetle will need to make around $240 million to break even at the box office. The budget for the film is estimated to be around $120 million, which does put it on the lower end of film budgets. For comparison, 2022’s Uncharted was made for $120 million, while Shazam! Fury of the Gods was made for a slightly higher $125 million. Comparatively, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was made for $250 million, while Indiana Jones & the Dial of Destiny cost the studio $200 million.

jaime blue beetle
Xolo Maridueña stars as Jaime Reyes in Blue Beetle.

So why $240 million instead of $120 million? The announced budgets for films don’t include things like marketing costs. The rule of thumb is that the actual budget for a film, including marketing, is double the announced budget. That’s obviously not always accurate, as some films are marketed much more heavily (or, in the case of pandemic-era films like No Time To Die, heavily marketed multiple times). 

Of course, that number is incredibly fuzzy, especially in this case. Blue Beetle’s marketing is being affected by the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, which prevents the film’s stars from promoting it in junkets and interviews. Instead, promotion is relying on grassroots campaigns, posters, and word of mouth – things that cost the studio less than star-studded premiere events or press tours. So while the rule of thumb is to double the budget, anything goes with Blue Beetle. 

Blue Beetle’s opening estimates versus other comic book movies

According to Deadline, Blue Beetle is tracking for a $30 million opening weekend. That sounds pretty low for a market as huge as comic book movies, but it’s honestly a really solid number. Despite having numerous huge comic runs and TV appearances, Blue Beetle remains a relatively niche character.

But $30 million puts Blue Beetle in a good place when you look at his much larger comics brothers. The Flash, which was heavily promoted and featured multiple high-profile characters and stars, limped across the finish line with a $55 million opening weekend, well below its original $75-80 million projection. Shazam! Fury of the Gods, a sequel to a beloved film, also drew in $30 million, while Black Adam, heavily promoted for years by The Rock, opened to $67 million

Barry Allen, young Barry, and Supergirl in The Flash
Barry Allen, young Barry, and Supergirl in The Flash

DCEU films just haven’t been hitting as hard as other comic book movies. Compare them to the MCU’s opening weekends from this year: Ant-Man 3 brought in $121 million, while Guardians 3 opened to the tune of $118 million. It’s not all doom and gloom for DC movies, though; The Batman generated $128 million on its opening weekend. 

$30 million doesn’t light the world on fire, but for a lesser-known character in a film that’s received minimal promotion, Blue Beetle could be off to a great start. And the $240 million goalpost definitely feels attainable, especially if the film reviews well and good word of mouth gets more viewers in theaters.