'Blue Beetle' Ousts 'Barbie' from Box Office Throne After Four-Week Reign

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The dominance of the DC superhero film "Blue Beetle" at the weekend box office has shaken the charts with its modest $25.4 million opening, as per studio estimates released on Sunday. This achievement marks the end of the four-week rule of "Barbie," which had turned movie theaters into a sea of pink during its record-breaking stint.

While "Barbie" may have surrendered its top position, its cinematic glory continues to shine. Greta Gerwig's creation, recently crowned as the highest-grossing Warner Bros. release ever domestically, nearly retained its No. 1 status, amassing $21.5 million in its fifth weekend. With a staggering $567.3 million earned in North America and an astonishing $1.28 billion worldwide, "Barbie" remains a force to reckon with. Its counterpart, the second half of the "Barbenheimer" duo, also displays remarkable resilience, performing remarkably well even in the later stages of its run.

In the fifth week of its run, Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer" pocketed $10.6 million. Although it secures a domestic total of $285.2 million, "Oppenheimer" now holds an unusual accolade - the title of the highest-grossing box office hit that has never clinched the No. 1 spot on the weekend charts. The previous record holder for this remarkable distinction was 2016's "Sing," which earned $270.3 million in the shadow of giants like "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "Hidden Figures."

The international success story of Universal Pictures' "Oppenheimer" surpasses its domestic achievement. Its cumulative worldwide earnings reached a notable $717.8 million by the end of Sunday.

Starring Xolo Maridueña, "Blue Beetle" made its mark on the box office, though on the lower end of expectations, and secured a spot among the DC Comics filmography. Initially intended for streaming-only release, Warner Bros. opted to give "Blue Beetle," the first DC movie to showcase a Latino superhero, a theatrical debut in late summer, a season that traditionally sees less box office activity.

With a production cost of approximately $105 million, "Blue Beetle" emerges with a more frugal price tag compared to the typical superhero blockbuster. This release stands as one of the final projects originating from a previous era at DC Studios, with James Gunn and Peter Safran assuming control in the past year.

Directed by Ángel Manuel Soto and penned by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, the film garnered commendable reviews, a feat that outshines its three DC predecessors this year ("The Flash," "Black Adam," and "Shazam! Fury of the Gods"). Earning a commendable 76% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, "Blue Beetle" distinguishes itself as a rare comic-book adaptation that places a Hispanic cast in the forefront. (Associated Press)