Leading up to the theatrical release of DC Extended Universe film Suicide Squad from director David Ayer (Fury), the early critical reception for Warner Bros. Pictures' comic book movie has been overall mixed-to-negative. After facing said backlash against the film's overall quality and specific merits and flaws, the cast and crew have come out in defense of Ayer's latest ahead of the production's theatrical release.
In particular, Ayer was quick to defend the film from any naysayers, making a concerted effort to make it known that the theatrical cut of the film was the cut that he wanted shown in theaters - in response to reports of studio meddling behind the scenes. And after garnering $8.1 million in a total of seven international markets so far, projections for a $140 million domestic opening weekend may still be within reach for the comic book caper.
According to Variety, Ayer's Suicide Squad opened with $20.5 million at the box office during its Thursday night preview showings, setting a record for an August theatrical release and placing it as the 13th biggest preview showing on record. If everything continues to go as well as early numbers suggest, WB is expected to generate a grand total of $125 million over the weekend in 4,250 theaters domestically (with an additional $100 million being generated overseas in 57 markets).
Standing beside fellow DCEU release Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which accrued a grand total of $870 million worldwide despite mixed/negative reviews), Suicide Squad may yet end up ranking among the highest-grossing comic book movies of all time. At the time of writing this, Ayer's film is outranked only by The Dark Knight Rises with a $30.6 million opening night and Batman V Superman with a $27.7 million opening night. However, Suicide Squad has now unseated former August release date titan Guardians of the Galaxy (which took in $11.2 million on its Thursday opening night).
It would appear as though fans of the original DC Comics property will be flocking to theaters to see Suicide Squad despite the weak critical word of mouth spread before the movie's release. Plus, seeing as how the only direct competition to Ayer's latest is the Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black) directed comedy Nine Lives, it seems fairly certain that the latest DCEU venture will pay off big for those viewers thoroughly invested in the history behind the characters; not to mention, anyone swayed by the heavily marketed hype leading up to the film's late summer release.
Suicide Squad is now in theaters, and will be followed by Wonder Woman 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.
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