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Battle at the Box Office 8/21/23

Barbie was finally dethroned after four weeks dominating the box office by Blue Beetle but it’s something of a pyrrhic victory as Blue Beetle had one of the worst openings in the history of the DC Extended Universe.

Blue Beetle opened to $25 million, well below even modest expectations and just barely topping Barbie in its fifth week of release.  Blue Beetle’s opening is only above Wonder Woman 1984, which was released when COVID was still rampant and was also the first day and date Max/theatrical release.  It’s well below this year’s other disastrous DC releases, Shazam: Fury of the Gods and The Flash, and Blue Beetle’s budget is reportedly on par with Fury of the Gods.  Opening lower than Shazam!, which was considered an utter disaster, does not bode well for Blue Beetle as the summer closes out.  The movie got a B+ CinemaScore as well, which suggests the reception is lukewarm and we could potentially see a massive drop-off this coming weekend.

Barbie almost held onto the top spot for a fifth week in a row but lost to Blue Beetle by around $4 million, banking another $21 million over the weekend.  Barbie now has over $556.8 million domestically and $1.28 million worldwide.  It is inching closer to overtaking The Super Mario Bros. Movie and becoming the biggest movie of 2023 worldwide.  On the all-time charts, it is currently #21 worldwide behind Avengers: Age of Ultron, and domestically it is #15 behind Incredibles 2.

Oppenheimer dropped to third place with another $10.7 million, putting it at $285.3 million domestically and $718.5 million worldwide.  It’s the 6th biggest movie domestically for 2023 and the 5th biggest movie worldwide for the year.  Oppenheimer is currently Christopher Nolan’s 4th biggest movie domestically and worldwide of all time.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Strays rounded out the top 5.  TMNT kept a strong hold and only dropped 45% from last weekend, making another $8.4 million and bringing its domestic total to $88.1 million.  Its worldwide total so far is $118.4 million.  Strays opening is fairly weak with only $8.2 million, not even cracking $10 million, and it shares Blue Beetle’s B+ Cinemascore, so audiences were tepid on it as well.  Compared to other recent R-rated comedies, it was nowhere close to No Hard Feelings but it did top Joy Ride.  For Will Ferrell, this opening is between The House and Holmes & Watson, and for Jamie Foxx, between Sleepless and Bait.

Further down the list, The Last Voyage of the Demeter cratered in its second weekend, dropping 62% from an already low opening weekend and falling out of the top 10, coming in 11th with a paltry $2.5 million.  Expect to see this one on VOD/Peacock sooner than expected.

The Per Theater average went to the re-release of 1979’s Winter Kills, which made $8,659 in 1 theater.

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