Warner Bros. Pictures’ DC Extended Universe blockbuster, the Zack Snyder-directed Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, did sizable business at the box office earlier this year, despite earning a mixed-to-negative critical response and an overall polarizing reception. The newly-released entry in the DCEU, the David Ayer-helmed Suicide Squad, has thus far earned a similar general reception – but is poised to enjoy a big opening weekend at the box office, like Batman V Superman did earlier this year.
It now appears as though history is repeating itself in other ways too, when it comes to the DCEU. To be exact: Batman V Superman posted impressive numbers at the U.S. box office during its opening frame, but at the same time saw a Friday-to-Saturday decline in ticket sales. According to initial projections, Suicide Squad has now experienced a similar day to day drop-off during its opening weekend.
Seasoned box office analyst (and Box Office Guru editor) Gitesh Pandaya is reporting that Suicide Squad may have dropped as much as 40% on its first Saturday, with respect to its $65 million opening Friday at the domestic box office. For the sake of comparison, past WB-released tentpole have suffered similar Friday-To-Saturday drop-offs, including Batman V Superman (38%), as well as the generally well-received The Dark Knight Rises (41%), and Harry Potter and the Death Hallows: Part 2 (53%). Then again, the critical darling The Dark Knight only dropped off 29% between Friday and Saturday over its opening frame.
While the most recent projections for Suicide Squad‘s opening weekend at the U.S. box office had it flying as high as $140 million+, those estimates are now being adjusted down closer to the $130 million area. That still wouldn’t be enough of a drop to stop the film from setting a new opening weekend record for August, easily surpassing the U.S. opening frame takes of current record-holder Guardians of the Galaxy ($94.3 million) and runner-up The Bourne Ultimatum ($69.3 million).
This development could be taken as additional evidence that Suicide Squad will ultimately land in the same boat as DCEU releases Man of Steel and Batman V Superman before it. That is, Suicide Squad is on course to become another DCEU release that is ultimately a commercial success in the sense that it turns a profit, but its reception will raise further questions about the long-term viability of the DCEU brand. Not helping in that respect is the recent report asserting the the film went through a rushed and troubled development process behind the scenes.
In short: it’s starting to look more and more like the creative staff changes at WB/DC that’ve happened since Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad entered the pipeline will prove to be a necessity, to prevent the DCEU train from falling off the tracks in the future.
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.
Source: Gitesh Pandaya