Suicide Squad Was A Massive Success For The DCEU
The box office for Suicide Squad was undoubtedly strong, but its enduring success can be measured by factors beyond its mere grosses. In terms of pop culture impact, the movie was unquestionably one of the biggest of 2016, and continues to resonate like few other films from that year. Much of that lasting pop culture appeal is down to Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. Already a rising star in the DC pantheon, the big screen version exploded her popularity; for the last few Halloweens, Harley Quinn has been one of the most popular costumes, and this year competed with Wonder Woman as the most-searched costume around the United States.
Even among those who criticize Suicide Squad, there is general acknowledgment that the movie has a unique and memorable look. A big part of that look came from the film’s makeup, which of course was awarded with an Oscar. Many mock the idea of Suicide Squad as an “Oscar-winner”, but it's unavoidable it represents a key technical achievement. That award-winning makeup, as well as the costumes and of course the actors themselves, have created strong fan followings for Suicide Squad's many characters. Considering how the DCEU has struggled to make icons like Batman and Superman work in their shared universe, that's a major win.
Why Suicide Squad Is Still Important To The DCEU
Take away the savage reviews on release, and it's clear that Suicide Squad got a lot of things right and will be important to the future of the DCEU. Along with the direct sequel and a Birds of Prey spinoff focusing on Harley Quinn, there's been discussion of films for Will Smith’s Deadshot, multiple for Jared Leto’s Joker, and others. It's a mini-universe within the DCEU, and after Justice League struggled, represents an area of proven hype.
So while many look at Suicide Squad and see a flop, Warners and DC clearly see a film that was profitable and featured several characters who can stand at the center of their own future movies. Suicide Squad is not going to be forgotten any time soon, even if critics might want it to be (although it's possible subsequent success will lead to something of a reevaluation). The narrative that the movie was a failure largely does not hold up under honest scrutiny. When all is said and done, Suicide Squad may be looked upon as the film that showed the way forward for the DCEU.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020