After the first Suicide Squad, which critics said had more smoke than flame, the second was a bloody anti-hero story that failed to make the expected box office
The box office recovery took another hit as Warner Bros. and DC’s critical darling “The Suicide Squad” opened to a less-than-expected $26.5 million from 4,002 North American theaters amid challenges posed by the Delta variant and a hybrid theatrical-home launch.
The movie could claim one victory: it scored the top North American opening of the pandemic era for an R-rated title. James Gunn directed the standalone sequel about DC’s team of antiheroes featuring a cast led by Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, and Peter Capaldi.
The studio so far has not disclosed streaming viewership numbers for its 2021 slate of films, including the DC Cinematic Universe tentpole. However, HBO Max chief Andy Forssell revealed Sunday that “Suicide Squad” boasted the second-most viewed opening of any film premiering day-and-date on HBO Max.
Sources say “Mortal Kombat” is No. 1, although no one is certain of the viewership tally. “As the country faces new challenges due to the COVID variant, we’re happy to continue to offer fans the option of viewing movies in their homes,” the executive said. “Many chose to do just that as Suicide Squad emerged as the second most-viewed film over an opening weekend on HBO Max since we began day-and-date releases with theaters.”
Even with rave reviews and the same early August release date, The “Suicide Squad” opened with just $12.15 million yesterday, including $4.1 million in Thursday previews. That points to an over, under $30 million opening weekend, not only lower than “Birds of Prey” ($33 million from a $13 million Friday) but an outright disaster for a $185 million-budgeted flick.
Yes, any discussion about any movie opening this summer needs a huge asterisk, and yes the worsening Covid infection rates among (mostly) the unvaccinated is probably why “The Suicide Squad” didn’t even reach “successful disappointment” levels this weekend.
David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” opened on this same weekend in 2016 amid horrible reviews and revelations that the film had been recut and reassembled by Warner Bros. executives (after the poor reception to Batman v Superman and the strong reception to the first jokey, song-filled Suicide Squad trailer) to an allegedly ridiculous degree.
Thanks to inherent DC Films interest, cameos from Ben Affleck’s “Batman” and Jared Leto’s Joker, Margot Robbie’s first appearance as our first cinematic live-action Harley Quinn and Will Smith playing the central role, “Suicide Squad” has still become an unquestionable smash hit.
In Europe — where COVID-19 is likewise on the rise in a number of territories — “The Suicide Squad” collected a muted $35 million from 71 markets for a foreign tally of $45.7 million and a global take of $72.2 million. Disney’s “Black Widow” ($171 million and counting) had the most successful opening in the term of the pandemic era.
“Black Widow”, which was shot in Hungary held in at No. 4 on its fifth weekend with $4 million for a domestic cume of $174.4 million and $185.4 million overseas. Globally, its box office cume is $359.8 million.