Unlike last August which was totally lacking product after Sony’s Bullet Train, the month looks to keep chugging even as the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes continue and many talent not permitted to promote. Recently, Warner Bros/DC’s Blue Beetle hit tracking with an eye on a $30M start when it opens on Aug. 18.
With Blue Beetle, Warner Bros is delivering what is arguably the first feature film superhero for Latino and Hispanic audiences. The pic was originally conceived for streamer HBO Max, developed under the DC Walter Hamada-run regime, but transitioned quite early to the theatrical release schedule.
The Angel Manuel Soto-directed pic is very hot with Latino and Hispanic moviegoers, natch, right now on tracking; the movie’s unaided awareness (that section of polling whereby moviegoers aren’t prompted on upcoming movies, rather name them independently when polled) is soaring above that of Sony’s Gran Turismo. True, this projection right now is lower than the $55M start of The Flash, which didn’t see a huge turnout by its cast to promote, and Shazam: Fury of the Gods‘ $30.1M, but note movies aimed at Hispanic and Latino moviegoers can overindex in their first weekends due to walk-up business. That’s what happened this weekend with The Meg 2: The Trench coming in at the top of expectations with a $30M start and a strong turnout among Hispanic and Latino crowds at 25% per Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak.
A $30M start for this genre title is right in the vicinity of another Hispanic/Latino conceived tentpole; that being Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel which posted a 3-day of $28.5M back in February 2019. Right now Blue Beetle‘s unaided awareness is 38% ahead of Alita‘s. Showing even more promise, Blue Beetle’s unaided is also 83% ahead of Meg 2‘s at the same point in time. Note Meg 2 notched its solid opening at the box office sans any cast interviews due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, a similar scenario that Blue Beetle is in this month.
Warners has been trailering Blue Beetle on all prints of Barbie and most prints of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.
TV spot tracker iSpot independently shows a campaign that’s currently drawing a near half billion in impressions with TV spots for Blue Beetle airing since April on ABC, Univision, NBC, Fox and AMC across such programs as NBA games, America’s Got Talent, MLB games, Eternamente amandonos, and Celebrity Family Feud. There’s also cross-promo adds from a tie-in with Reese’s which is counting 35M TV ad impressions as well as 4M TV ad impressions from Univision alone.
Universal’s R-rated talking dog comedy, Strays, is opening against Blue Beetle and it looks to do in the teens per industry projections.
In Blue Beetle, Xolo Maridueña stars as Jaime Reyes, a recent college grad that returns home with aspirations for his future, but finds out his home is not the same. As he searches to find his purpose in the world, fate intervenes when Jaime unexpectedly finds himself in possession of an ancient relic of alien biotechnology: the Scarab.
Maridueña is joined by a cast that includes Adriana Barraza as Jaime’s grandmother, Nana, Damían Alcázar as his father, Elpidia Carrillo as his mother, Bruna Marquezine as Jenny Kord, Raoul Max Trujillo as Carapax, with Susan Sarandon as Victoria Kord, and George Lopez as Jaime’s Uncle Rudy. The film also stars Belissa Escobedo as Jaime’s sister, Milagro and Harvey Guillén as Dr. Sanchez.