The final tent pole movie of the summer, Suicide Squad, has come and gone, with the film dropping a whopping 67% percent at the box office between weekend one to weekend two.
As reported by The Independent, Suicide Squad managed to maintain its slim box office lead with a $43 million dollar second run over Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party, which debuted to a respectable $34 million.
But its downward spiral from the record breaking $135.1M opening to $43M suggests the critics’ negative reviews impacted enough casual fans to keep them out of the theater. It’s now projected that Suicide Squad will finish just above $300 million in total gross both foreign and domestic, a far cry from some of it’s competitors at Marvel, like Guardians of the Galaxy or Deadpool, two offbeat non-iconic movie characters and teams that broke big with the public.
But take heart DC movie fans! Suicide Squad may not have helped catapult the DC-verse into a dead heat with Marvel, but there were five important takeaways that should give everyone hope for next year’s batch of films including Wonder Woman, Justice League and 2018’s Aquaman.
1. It wasn’t Batman v Superman
Despite it doing similar numbers (including a near identical 67% drop between opening weekends) Suicide Squad will hardly be considered the flop that BvS was. While critics pounded both films, Suicide Squad seemed to, at the very least, entertain the folks who made it out to the theater. It helped that the film starred non-essential DC characters outside of maybe Jared Leto’s Joker and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, but nonetheless, no hard core fan was truly offended by their portrayals like the unwatchable Dawn of Justice.
2. It proved a DC movie could be fun
The biggest complaint behind BvS, and before it, Man of Steel, was that the heavy-handed tone brought on by Zack Snyder. Suicide Squad did not have that issue, which at least brought some fun and lightheartedness to the screen. Maybe not enough for Slash Film, that blamed the marketing strategy for the film’s big dropoff between weekends.
“The marketing for Suicide Squad was amazing,” Peter Sciretta writes, “and it certainly got people interested, but unfortunately a lot of moviegoers seem to be finding that the fun film they’re selling isn’t the dark and violent film which is in theaters.”
But at the very least it paved the way for the trailers for Justice League and Wonder Woman, which seem to be following suit with how Suicide Squad set the table. We even got to see Ben Affleck smile. Which brings us to the next silver lining:
3. It introduced someone other than Zack Snyder into the mix.
David Ayer made his mark with and helped land Denzel Washington an Oscar with the 1998 film Training Day. He was also the first non-Snyder director to tackle a DC project since Christopher Nolan so eloquently brought the Batman franchises back to life. It’s not to say Zack Snyder can’t make a good film – he’ll have yet another chance with Justice League next year – but at this point it’s nice to see another filmmaker’s vision enter the mix.
4. It launched Margot Robbie as a legit superstar
Despite the mixed reviews from fans and the bashing from critics, one thing seems to be pretty unanimous across the board: Margot Robbie, as Harley Quinn, is the breakout star of the group. Rolling Stone agreed, citing her performance as the best part of Suicide Squad.
“She goes all in on the crazy, offering up a gloriously anarchic version of Quinn that’s more than the sum of her Daddy’s Lil’ Monster baseball tee, hot pants and fishnets. All that candy-colored carnage and irreverence we were promised in those stunning trailers — what actually makes it in to the movie comes from her, one grinning bat-to-the-skull at a time.”
This effusive praise for Robbie bodes well for her next DC Films project, the recently green lit Birds of Prey movie that will find Margot reprising her role as the devilish super villain.
5. It re-introduced the Joker to the DC Movie Universe.
Sure, he was barely in it. Sure he now says he feels “tricked” into the role according to IGN. But Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker re-introduced a major villain into the universe, sadly vacated when Heath Ledger passed away suddenly at the age of 28. And with subtle clues as to the Joker’s behavior in between The Dark Knight and Suicide Squad (the torn up Robin costume in BvS for example) you just know we haven’t seen the last of this cackling super villain. Maybe he’ll pop up in Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie recently announced at ComicCon last month. But for now, Suicide Squad is the only place to catch him.
[Image from Warner Bros.]