Suicide Squad is breaking all known box office records for the month of August. It will end up the highest opening weekend for both Will Smith and Margot Robbie according to Deadline, with a projected $140 million dollar opening weekend.
And in the end, it still might be considered a flop like its 2016 DC predecessor, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Why? Because like Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad has broken big out of the gates but might fizzle out thanks to lackluster buzz, reviews, and fan backlash.
“Early evening estimates have Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad at $140M-plus for the weekend after a Friday that’s between $63.5M-$65M. But, when it comes to the audience and critics’ response to the film, it’s deja-vu all over again. Like Batman v. Superman, which earned a 27% Rotten Tomatoes score and B CinemaScore, Suicide Squad is getting panned by critics (26%) and has registered an above average response from CinemaScore crowds who gave it a B+.”
And like Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad‘s budget ballooned. A series of expensive re-shoots combined with a gigantic marketing budget has put the onus on the film to not only win out the weekend, but the second, third, and fourth respectively – much like the Marvel counterparts the film is chasing like Deadpool, Guardians of the Galaxy, and to a lesser extent Ant-Man. It’s a point Vulture was quick to make upon seeing the box office numbers thus far.
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) August 5, 2016
“Batman v Superman, much like its predecessor, Man of Steel, hardly had any legs at the box office,” writer Jordan Crucchiola pointed out when reporting on the huge projection for Suicide Squad.
“After massive opening weekends, both films saw steep drops in their week-over-week earnings. Steel only kicked around theaters for 14 weeks at home, and Dawn of Justice lasted even less time and bowed out after 12. Compare that to legitimate successes — both critically and financially — like Guardians and Deadpool, which ran for 22 and 18 weeks, respectively. Hell, even Marvel’s stepchild property, Ant-Man, had the same box-office run as Guardians, and it got a Certified Fresh critical rating, too.”
So is there nothing but doom and gloom in Suicide Squad and DC Films’ future? Not necessarily.
The movie is already outpacing both Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy in overseas box office according to Variety.
“The comic book film pulled in a healthy $8.1 million from seven international markets, including a hefty $2.9 million in its opening day in South Korea and a sizable $2.7 million from its launch in France,” the site reported.
Another thing working in their favor is the fact that the budget for Suicide Squad, while hefty at $175 million, was nowhere near the estimated $500 million it cost for both production and marketing on Batman V Superman. If the villains-only film were to come close to the intake BvS was able to wrangle in – close to $900 million – the film would absolutely be hailed as a commercial success.
And Suicide Squad has the luxury of not owing itself to any iconic characters. Short of the Joker and fan-favorite Harley Quinn, it’s not as if writer-director David Ayer is working with hallowed, beloved characters with deep seeded history and legacy among the fans. Where critics shunned Batman v Superman for lacking a cohesive story, fans were more outraged that the characters that appeared on screen didn’t match the characters they grew up loving (RE: Batman killing without mercy or Superman brooding all the time).
Suicide Squad isn’t bound to any faithful adaptation that might turn fans away and Margot Robie’s performance as Harley Quinn has universally been hailed with fans thus far. So maybe it’s too soon to label the film a bust despite the eerie similarities to Batman V Superman.
What do you think? Will Suicide Squad be a flop? Or will it prevail with the fans over the long haul?
[Image via Suicide Squad]