$135 million opening for ‘Suicide Squad’ raises red flags

Image: Warner Bros

A $135.1 million box office might look like a good start for Suicide Squad, but you’ve got to follow the money.

That number could have been bigger was projected to be bigger, even. The fact that it’s not foretells a rough ride ahead for Warner Bros. latest building block in the fledgling DC Comics cinematic universe.

The daily returns tell the story. Suicide Squad‘s estimated domestic box office for Thursday night and Friday opening day, essentially is $65.1 million. Saturday’s total dipped by 41 percent, to $38.4 million, and Sunday’s current estimate predicts a 19 percent drop, to $31.2 million.

It’s not unusual for summer blockbuster audiences to dwindle as the weekend wears on, but Suicide Squad‘s Friday-to-Saturday drop is the same as The Dark Knight Rises was and steeper than Batman v Superman‘s 38 percent drop in March 2016.

For comparison, look at Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which opened on the same weekend in 2014. Friday-to-Saturday and Saturday-to-Sunday attendance declines are both in the high teens 18.1 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively.

What does all this mean? Suicide Squad is doing okay, not great. The numbers are good an estimated $132 million overseas gives the movie a week one total of almost $270 million but attendance trends suggest interest will wane rapidly.

The poor critical reception is at least partially to blame, with a lowly 26 percent rating currently listed on RottenTomatoes. Theatergoers also aren’t bowled over after they leave the theater, with a B+ rating from CinemaScore tying with other recent water-treaders like The Angry Birds Movie, Ice Age: Collision Course and Ghostbusters.

Take heart, fans: It’s not all bad news. Suicide Squad earned enough to deliver the third-largest opening weekend of 2016, behind Batman v Superman (#2) and Captain America: Civil War (#1). It’s also the biggest-ever opening in August, soaring past the $94.3 million bar set by Guardians of the Galaxy.

Trailing far behind Suicide Squad at #2 is Jason Bourne. Matt Damon’s fourth starring role in the series opened at the top of the box office last week, but with a middling $59.2 million purse.

Things are looking even grimmer this week, with a 61.2 percent audience week-over-week decline bringing in an estimated $22.7 million. Bourne has close to $200 million at the global box office right now, but it likely won’t be around in the U.S., at least for much longer.

The underdog hero of the week is Bad Moms, STX Entertainment’s raunchy ensemble parenthood comedy from the writing duo behind The Hangover. The summer comedy offered valuable counter-programming when it opened against Bourne last week, and audiences rewarded it with a $23.8 million box office.

Now in week two, Bad Moms hangs onto its #3 weekend box office berth with an estimated $14.2 million. The numbers might not be on the same scale as action blockbusters like Suicide Squad or Bourne, but that’s a low 40.4 percent attendance drop for Moms.

In other words, this is a movie with staying power. It’s too early to start throwing around descriptors like “modern comedy classic,” but happy audiences and decent reviews suggest a long life in theaters and at home for this one.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/08/07/suicide-squad-box-office-opening-135-million/