Rave reviews couldn’t save James Gunn’s new action movie The Suicide Squad from a disappointing box office debut. While the new DCEU movie managed to top the box office, it only took in $26.5 million from over 4000 theatres in the US and $45.7 million internationally for a total of $72.2 million. Analysts have claimed this means that Gunn’s newest science fiction movie is unlikely to turn a profit.
Several factors have been blamed for the film’s poor takings, including Warner’s decision to release The Suicide Squad on its streaming service HBO Max the same day it hit theatres, the bad taste left in the mouth of general audiences by David Ayer’s 2016 Suicide Squad movie, and the film’s R-rating. The biggest reason, though is probably falling cinema attendance caused by the Delta variant of Covid-19, which is surging across the United States.
“This weekend’s performance of The Suicide Squad shows yet again the unpredictability of a theatrical marketplace whose success rises and falls based on an ever-evolving set of disparate factors including not only the usual film-centric metrics, but also the impact of concerning pandemic news on consumer behaviour,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore told The Hollywood Reporter. “Of course, the day-and-date release of any film has implications, but in today’s environment, it’s too simplistic to analyse a movie’s performance based on that variable alone since there are so many moving parts.”
Still, it’s not all bad news. The Suicide Squad managed is easily the biggest R-rated movie of the pandemic (not that there have been that many), and it did well on streaming. HBO Max boss Andy Forssell says that The Suicide Squad scored the second-most viewed opening of any film premiering day-and-date on the streaming service.
“As the country faces new challenges due to the Covid-19 variant, we’re happy to continue to offer fans the option of viewing movies in their homes,” Forssell said. “Many chose to do just that as Suicide Squad emerged as the second most-viewed film over an opening weekend on HBO Max since we began day-and-date releases with theatres.”
The Suicide Squad is the newest film in the DCEU and sees the titular team sent off to the island of Corto Maltese to put a stop to something called Project Starfish. It goes as well as you’d expect…
The Suicide Squad is in cinemas now.