The Suicide Squad: A look at opening weekend box office figures of James Gunn's DC Comics film

In North America, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad was able to make only $26.5 million in estimated ticket sales.

FP Staff August 09, 2021 16:21:31 IST
The Suicide Squad: A look at opening weekend box office figures of James Gunn's DC Comics film

Moviegoing, once expected to be closer to semi-normal levels by now, continues to be battered by the pandemic, the delta variant of the coronavirus and in-home streaming.

The latest casualty: James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, a critically acclaimed, carnage-ridden would-be smash that disappointed with $26.5 million in estimated North American ticket sales.

Scare of Delta variant may have affected box office numbers

  • The Warner Bros film, which was released simultaneously on HBO Max, could claim one pandemic record: the top R-rated opening. But The Suicide Squad, featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy director’s first DC Comics film, had seemed poised to be a bigger hit — and may have been if the delta variant wasn’t keeping a lot of moviegoers home.
  • The film's simultaneous release on HBO Max further hurt its box-office totals.
  • Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief for Warner Bros, acknowledged the recovery is taking longer than anyone hoped.
  • The Suicide Squad cost about $185 million to make, but the current state of the box office doesn’t offer much of a chance for profitability for movies at that scale.
  • Warner didn’t release any streaming or subscription data related to the The Suicide Squad, but Goldstein said that every release has seen “a proportional response” on HBO Max that correlates to its popularity in theatres. If it’s a hit in theatres, it’s a hit on streaming.
  • The result for The Suicide Squad — strong reviews, underwhelming opening — is a kind of inverse to 2016′s Suicide Squad, which was lambasted by critics but also made a lot of money. The film, directed by David Ayer (who has since called the film “not my cut”), opened with $133.7 million in the U.S. and Canada, eventually grossing $745 million worldwide.) In part because of fan backlash to DC titles like The Suicide Squad, Gunn was brought in to set a more irreverent tone.
  • Gunn’s movie, a sequel-reboot that returns some cast members but not others, drew good reviews (92% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), already has a series spinoff starring John Cena upcoming and was largely endorsed by moviegoers with a B+ CinemaScore.
  • In other markets, The Suicide Squad was able to make only $35 million, taking the total collection to $72 million, according to Variety.

Other releases

Last week's box office leader, Disney's family-friendly adventure film Jungle Cruise, slipped to second spot, taking in $15.7 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period, less than half its week-earlier total. The film, which puts a modern twist on a 1950s theme park ride, stars Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson.

In third was Universal's psychological thriller Old, at $4.1 million. Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps and Rufus Sewell star in the M Night Shyamalan tale of a group of people who begin to age precipitously while trapped on a secluded beach.

In fourth place, for the second straight week, was Disney Marvel superhero flick Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson, which took in $4.0 million. It now has domestic earnings of $174 million, pushing it past Universal's F9: The Fast Saga as the top-grossing film in North America so far this year.

And in fifth was Matt Damon film Stillwater from Focus Features, at $2.9 million. Damon plays a burly American oil worker who travels to France to help his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin) when she is jailed for a killing she says she did not commit.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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