Blue Beetle movie scene
Photo via Warner Bros. / Blue Beetle Movie

In a surprising turn, the DC superhero film “Blue Beetle” has claimed the box office throne, putting an end to Barbie’s four-week reign as the top earner. Last weekend, “Blue Beetle” secured about $25.4 million in ticket sales, knocking Barbie from the top spot and ending the pink-themed dominance in theaters.

The “Barbie” trend isn’t slowing down, either. Greta Gerwig’s movie, recently becoming Warner Bros.’ highest-grossing domestic release, nearly held onto the top position once more with $21.5 million in its fifth weekend. The North American sales for “Barbie” now total an impressive $567.3 million.

Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” the other half of the Barbenheimer duo, also performed well in its fifth week, making $10.6 million. Even though it hasn’t secured the top weekend box office spot, “Oppenheimer” boasts an impressive domestic haul of $285.2 million. The previous holder of this distinction was 2016’s “Sing,” which earned $270.3 million amid the popularity of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Hidden Figures.”

“Oppenheimer” has achieved even greater success on the global stage, collecting around $717.8 million as of last Sunday.

Although “Blue Beetle” fell slightly short of expectations for a DC Comics movie, it took a different route than initially planned. Warner Bros. decided to screen “Blue Beetle,” featuring Xolo Maridueña as the first Latino superhero in a DC film, during late summer, a typically quieter period for the box office.

Blue Beetle movie scene in action
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Xolo Maridueña in a scene from “Blue Beetle.” (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

This movie was made for around $105 million, less than the typical superhero film budget. Serving as the final release under the previous regime at DC Studios, it marked the transition to the leadership of James Gunn and Peter Safran last year.

Directed by Ángel Manuel Soto and written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, “Blue Beetle” received solid reviews, outpacing the three earlier DC releases this year: “The Flash,” “Black Adam,” and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.” Notably, the film scored a 76 percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes and stands out as a rare comic-book adaptation with a Hispanic cast in prominent roles.

Despite challenges like the lasting success of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” and the potential impact of Hurricane Hilary in Southern California, “Blue Beetle” stood strong, making a mark in its primary market of Los Angeles.

In a weekend full of surprises and standout performances, “Blue Beetle” has demonstrated that fresh and diverse stories can shine in the spotlight, even alongside well-established icons, in the box office arena.

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