When DC opened Blue Beetle in August, the film earned the unique distinction of knocking Barbie from the top of the box office. Even with that badge of honor, however, Blue Beetle suffered what was considered a “soft” opening for a superhero movie. The main reason – at least according to executives at Warner Bros. – was the impact of Tropical Storm Hilary on the Southern California region. But Blue Beetle director Angel Manuel Soto didn’t blame the storm when he opened up about obstacles facing his movie on opening weekend. And he’s proud of how the film has performed in the weeks and months since it first screened for fans.
Blue Beetle is arriving on 4K and Blu-ray on October 31, and we got time with the director ahead of that street date. He talked to us about the pride he feels with James Gunn wanting Xolo Mariduena to keep playing Jaime Reyes in the rebooted DCU. And he talked about his film’s rough opening weekend, explaining to CinemaBlend:
We came out under unprecedented circumstances. We had a lot of obstacles and challenges to overcome. And the love of the fans, and the word of mouth, helped so much. And it was so well received that for all of us, it was kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh, this feels like a success story.’ Because we were able to overcome a lot. From just being a streaming movie to actually coming to theaters. And recuperating more than the budget of the movie… without all the tools and toys that other bigger movies have. Word of mouth, (and) the impact that it has had, is only continuing. It didn't die. People are still talking about it on social media, and I still receive a lot of messages from people that are doing, like, watch parties in their houses, and sing-alongs with the music. Because the music also speaks to them so much. So it's beautiful. It's a beautiful experience that I never really had before. It just makes you be very thankful and grateful for the opportunity.
The strange thing about Blue Beetle is that it straddles the line. The last few DCEU movies have struggled at the box office – from The Flash to Shazam: Fury of the Gods – and analysts chalked it up to the fact that narratively, these movies would not be canon in the new James Gunn DC Universe. It wasn’t as imperative to see how these movies played out, because in universe, it was all coming to a close.
Blue Beetle, however, is going to remain a consistent element of the upcoming DC movies, according to Gunn, so fans should have wanted to get out to theaters to see what elements Cobra Kai star Xolo Mariduena brought to the role. I confess that I missed Blue Beetle in theaters, but having watched it in preparation for my conversation with Angel Manuel Soto, I found myself loving the energy of the character, the eclectic nature of his corner of the universe, and the practicality of the suit. And I’m really excited to see how he will fit into the casting that Gunn has done so far.
The next DC movie will be the last DCEU movie: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. After that, a new wave arrives, and we’ll see what it brings to shore. In the meantime, Blue Beetle can be purchased on 4K and Blu-ray starting on October 31.