Director Zack Snyder’s 2013 reboot of the Superman movie franchise, Man of Steel, has since kicked off what is now known as the DC Extended Universe: a cinematic universe that also now encompasses Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and David Ayer’s newly-released Suicide Squad. While these DCEU films have thus far done well enough at the box office, no doubt those reading this are aware that these movies’ overall critical receptions have been mixed-to-negative, prompting decidedly polarizing responses as a result.
All that hullaballoo isn’t making a difference with Suicide Squad so far, though. Ayer’s DC villain team-up adventure is currently enjoying quite the strong opening weekend. It has already broken records with its $20.5M Thursday night opening in August, beating out the previous record holder: Marvel Studio’s 2014 film release, Guardians of the Galaxy.
Now Variety is re-affirming previous estimates that Suicide Squad is set for a U.S. box office opening weekend total of around $140 million. Suicide Squad has been looking to open strongly for some time now, but that $140 million number has always been the high end of what was expected from the film, commercially-speaking.
At this point, the real test of success will be how strong the film’s legs are in the following weeks. Opening weekends are quite important for a film’s success, but poor word-of-mouth can be detrimental to a movie’s draw to casual audiences in the subsequent weeks. Batman V Superman, for example, had a strong opening weekend of $170M (the sixth highest ever) but had a 68% drop-off in its second weekend, leading to an overall box office run that fell short of Warner Bros. Pictures’ expectations (comparative to the film’s budget and potential).
Fortunately for WB, PostTrak exit poll data suggests that so far 81% of viewers have had a positive view of Suicide Squad after seeing it during its opening weekend. This may go a long way to bringing in on-the-fence viewers in during the less crowded weeks to come in August. Competition also wasn’t very strong right after Batman V Superman opened in theaters either, so it remains to be seen if history does (or does not) repeat itself with Suicide Squad in that respect.
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.