‘Suicide Squad’: Is This Super-Villain Flick Quietly Becoming A Sleeper Hit?

Only three weeks ago, critics were savaging Suicide Squad, calling it a flop and a monumental failure in line with DC’s other recent offerings on the big screen. However, audiences hit the theaters in the first weekend in big numbers, resulting in a record box office opening for August. Still, most critics – and even some regular moviegoers – were highly critical of the film and felt sure it would quickly slide into oblivion. But a funny thing happened on the way to oblivion. Suicide Squad became a sleeper hit.

Despite all the critical reviews, Suicide Squad just kept chugging along over the last two weeks, making money day after day. Based on the weekend ticket sale projections by Box Office Mojo, Suicide Squad has just won the weekend box office take for the third straight week in a row.

Currently, Suicide Squad has a domestic total of over $262 million and a worldwide box office of over $572 million. With a budget that was much lower than the ridiculously expensive Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad seems to be doing quite well.

Promotional image from Suicide Squad showing Harley and Killer Croc.
Promotional image from Suicide Squad showing Harley and Killer Croc. [Image via Warner Bros.].
As it now stands, Suicide Squad is the eighth highest-earning movie of the year. And since it is still in theaters and earning money, it could possibly go even higher. Lots of movies that don’t do well at first manage to hang on in the box office week after week to become sleeper hits. Suicide Squad may just be one of the lucky few, especially as it actually did do quite well its first weekend.

How did this happen? Given the reviewer hate the film has received from critics around the world and across the internet, it might seem like Suicide Squad shouldn’t have a chance. But the fates have been kind to Suicide Squad‘s motley crew, leaving DC’s latest film with little in the way of head-to-head competition.

This weekend, Suicide Squad‘s biggest competitor was Sausage Party – now in its second week of release – but the party wasn’t enough to knock Suicide Squad from the top spot. And none of the other films that opened this weekend had a realistic chance of doing so either.

Even better for Suicide Squad, the films coming out next weekend are not exactly getting rave reviews either. The only one of the bunch that might have even a slim chance of dethroning Suicide Squad as the current box office champ is Jason Statham’s new outing in Mechanic: Resurrection. But even though Statham has done well in the past with properties like Transporter and the original Mechanic film, in recent years he hasn’t exactly been a big box office draw.

Jason Statham in Mechanic: Resurrection.
Jason Statham in Mechanic: Resurrection. [Image via Lionsgate].
In fact, it’s very unlikely that Statham’s latest outing will do much better than $10 million in its opening weekend, which would certainly leave Suicide Squad still at the head of the pack. And this will make four straight weeks with the Suicide Squad “flop” at the top of the box office.

Yes, there is no denying that the Gods of film scheduling have smiled on Suicide Squad, given the mediocre competition it’s had to take on. But a win is a win, and Suicide Squad is still raking in the big money.

Despite the tidal wave of heavy criticism of Suicide Squad by reviewers and its absurdly low score on Rotten Tomatoes, most people who have actually seen Suicide Squad seemed to enjoy it. Even though few filmgoers would call it the greatest superhero movie ever made, they enjoyed it enough that many of them are going back to see it a second time. Even if they’re too embarrassed to admit they’re doing it.

[Image via Warner Bros.]

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