‘Blue Beetle’ Has Ticket To Ride Past ‘Barbie’ This Weekend – Box Office Preview

In what is poised to be a case of Warner Bros beating itself for the No. 1 spot at the box office this coming weekend, the studio’s new DC superhero title, Blue Beetle, is poised to halt Barbie‘s three-weekend streak with a $28M-$32M opening. Barbie, meanwhile per industry sources, is looking at a $22M-$24M fourth weekend, -30%. Through Monday, the Greta Gerwig directed Mattel doll feature counts $531.2M.

As we told you, the Angel Manuel Soto directed Blue Beetle is overindexing with Latino and Hispanic audiences, hence the hope is that there will be plenty of walk-up business, which was the case with Warner’s The Meg 2: The Trench hitting a $30M start at the top of its projections two weekends ago. Blue Beetle crawls into 3,850 locations and will play in Imax, which the pic gains in full from Oppenheimer. In addition the DC superhero movie, which was originally conceived for Warner streaming service Max, will play in Dolby Cinemas, PLFs, drive-ins, and motion seats. Previews start Thursday at 2PM.

© Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

Again, this August looks like it’s on steroids next to last August which was laid bare after Sony’ Bullet Train as features were delayed due to a clog in the post-production pipeline on account of Covid. Comscore reports that summer 2023 has clocked $3.6 billion for the period of May 5-Aug. 13, +16% over the same frame in 2022, and only -5% behind pre-pandemic 2019.

Universal has the second new wide release this weekend, that being the R-rated potty talking doggies comedy, Strays, from director Josh Greenbaum and produced by Lord Miller partners Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and Picturestart founder and CEO Erik Feig. The Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, Will Forte and Randall Park voiced comedy looks to do in the teens. How much does it overindex is the question: August has been a lucky time frame for Universal with comedies, for like forever, going back to 2000’s Bring It On ($17.3M opening, $68.3M), 2005’s The 40-Year Old Virgin ($21.4M, $109.4M final) and pre-pandemic 2019, R-rated potty-mouthed Good Boys ($21.4M opening, $83.1M final). Currently, unaided awareness for Strays matches that across all audiences of Good Boys (that’s the part of tracking whereby when people are polled, they organically answer with their want-to-see-movie, versus being given a set of multiple choice options). While Good Boys tracked with younger guys under 25, Strays has more female to it. Strays previews start Thursday at 5PM. The movie is booked in over 3,000 locations.

No Rotten Tomatoes critical scores yet for Strays and Blue Beetle.

Universal’s fourth weekend of Oppenheimer looks to do $12M-$13M per industry sources. The pic through Monday did $266.9M. Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem in weekend three is eyeing $10M-$12M. The animated Nickelodeon/Point Grey feature counts $74.1M through yesterday and as we reported exclusively, the IP is seeing retail sales north of $1 billion for 2023.

'Landscape With invisible Hand' review Sundance Film Festival

Asante Blackk and Kylie Rogers in ‘Landscape with invisible Hand’

Sundance Institute/MGM

MGM in limited release has the theatrical release of Cory Finley’s Landscape With Invisible Hand, debuting in 304 theaters. The R-rated sci-fi drama is based on the M.T. Anderson novel and is produced by Plan B and Annapurna. It made its world premiere at Sundance earlier this year.

Logline: Years into a benevolent alien occupation of Earth, the human race is still adjusting to the new world order and its quirky coffee table-sized overlords called the Vuvv. Their flashy advanced technology initially held promise for global prosperity, but rendered most human jobs – and steady income – obsolete. When 17-year-old artist Adam Campbell (Asante Blackk) and new girlfriend Chloe Marsh (Kylie Rogers) discover the Vuvv are particularly fascinated with human love and will pay for access to it, they decide to livestream their budding romance to make extra cash for themselves and their families. Life is good, for a while, until the flame of their teenage love fizzles out and they’re forced to make very different, absurdly life-altering sacrifices for their families. Tiffany Haddish also stars. Pic is 74% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

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