Suicide Squad, the latest cinematic installment in the DC Extended Universe, has received largely mixed-to-negative reviews, enough so to put it in the same Rotten Tomatoes score bracket (25-30%) as this year’s other DCEU film, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The David Ayer-helmed film has been praised for certain elements (in particular, its characters), but derided for most everything else: the plot, visual style, the underuse of Jared Leto’s Joker character, you name it.
How the critical reception affects the film’s box office run is a question that will have to be answered in the long run, as months of marketing that built up Suicide Squad as a must-see movie event was simply always going to be too strong to be deterred by the response from critics – during opening weekend, that is. In fact, Suicide Squad has long been tracking for a huge box office opening- and now we know those projections were correct.
Suicide Squad earned $135 million domestically during its opening weekend, according to box office figures that are being reported by multiple outlets (Deadline among them). The performance amounts to the biggest August opening weekend at the U.S. box office of all time, breaking the previous record set by Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 ($94.3 million).
The box office haul also makes Suicide Squad the fourth film of 2016 to open with more than $100 million, following Captain America: Civil War, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Finding Dory. It also puts Warner Bros. Pictures over $1 billion in box office for the year, helped set a new overall industry box office record for the month of August, and served as the highest opening of Will Smith’s career, while also halting the star’s recent box office losing streak.
That opening weekend performance is good news for Suicide Squad – though, the film did come in below the $140 million tracking figure that was most recently reported. Ayer’s DCEU film ultimately didn’t fly as high as Batman V Superman, and saw its box office haul drop 40-41 percent from Friday to Saturday. And don’t forget that Batman V Superman‘s box office performance saw steep declines from week to week, attributed at least in part to weak word of mouth among filmgoers.
That said, $135 million is $135 million and is still one of the better openings of the year. Whether or not Suicide Squad goes the way of Batman V Superman in the long run, and what that means for the future of DCEU, that remains to be seen.
Suicide Squad is in theaters now. Wonder Woman opens on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash and Batman solo movie are currently without release dates.