The latest installment of the DC Extended Universe, David Ayer's Suicide Squad, is right around the corner, as its theatrical release is set for this Friday, August 5. Thanks to a great marketing campaign, it has generated a substantial amount of hype, turning its relatively niche roster of characters into world famous superstars over the past few months. As a result, Suicide Squad is expected to be a rare breakout hit at the box office this summer, with some estimates going as high as $140 million just for the opening weekend.
It will be interesting to see how those projections are impacted, given that the first wave of Suicide Squad reviews are mostly negative. However, the early response is unlikely to cause any drastic shifts in the commercial prospects - at least for the first three days. Well before the review embargo lifted, many moviegoers had already determined they were going to make the trip to the theater. And if the pre-sales figures are anything to go by, Suicide Squad is going to go down as one of the all-timers.
According to The Wrap, the DCEU's tale of the Worst. Heroes. Ever. has set a new mark for most August pre-sales on Fandango, besting Guardians of the Galaxy and Straight Outta Compton from the past couple of years. It's the latest instance in 2016 of a mega blockbuster breaking Fandango records; both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War reached new heights for the superhero genre as a whole in the buildup to their premieres.
This development will soften the blow of the negative reviews somewhat, since it illustrates that Suicide Squad is going to be financially successful. The larger question that now looms is how strong its legs will be once the buzz dies down, but the film is positioned in a way where it could have a lucrative run. We're now at the tail end of the summer movie season, and Suicide Squad won't have much in the way of direct competition (save for family film Pete's Dragon, which is targeting a different demographic). Even if it sees a substantial drop in the 60 percent range during its second weekend, Suicide Squad will be the only tentpole in town for a while - now that Star Trek Beyond and Jason Bourne have opened.
Suicide Squad should also have no issues turning a profit, which was a bit of a problem for Batman V Superman. Warner Bros. gave Ayer a production budget of $175 million, and when international numbers are factored in, the villain team-up could make back that sum of money in a single weekend. It currently does not have a release date in China, the second-largest film market in the world, but interest is so high, that won't have any noticeable affect. One only has to look at Deadpool, which shattered records despite being banned in the country.
It is unfortunate for moviegoers that Suicide Squad doesn't look like it will be the film to reverse the DCEU's fortunes from a critical perspective, but at the very least, they will make a substantial amount of money. In addition, there will more than likely be certain elements that receive high amounts of praise - similar to Batman and Wonder Woman in Dawn of Justice. Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn is seen as a highlight, so maybe the studio will be encouraged to push forward on a spinoff movie placing the fan-favorite in the center. Time will tell, but summer 2016 is going out with a bang.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016, 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.
Source: The Wrap