Despite the odd amount of negative reviews, Suicide Squad came out on top with an incredible record-breaking opening weekend. Racking in a total of $133.6 million domestically and $133.3 internationally, Suicide Squad beat out blockbuster mega hit Guardians of the Galaxy for largest Thursday night opening, and the largest August weekend opening in history. Warner Bros. couldn’t be more happy about these numbers, as their distribution executive vice president, Jeff Goldstein, spoke with Variety:
It bested anything that we could have expected. The marketing campaign was brilliant and the performances by the cast, starting with Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto, were just extraordinary. They’re fun and wicked and fans enjoy it.
A majority of critics panned the movie, and many referenced the low 26% of positive critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Conveniently, what they failed to reference was the impressive 72% of fans that did like it, also according to Rotten Tomatoes, with an average of 3.8 out of 5 stars. Goldstein also commented on the clear divide between critics and fans saying “There’s a major disconnect with between what the critics are saying and what audiences are seeing.”
Several reporting agencies seemed desperate to try to find a negative angle to the film’s successful weekend. A popular example of this would be the reports of a drop in numbers between Friday and Saturday viewings, which is more than a common occurrence. A simple search for box office numbers will show that other big comic hits of the year like Captain America: Civil War and Deadpool also had drops in attendance numbers between Friday and Saturday. Suicide Squad will likely have a drop in numbers between its 1st and 2nd weekends. This is normal as well, but will almost assuredly be blown up in the media and labeled a disappointment. In comparison, Jason Bourne debuted last week and experienced a 62% drop in its second weekend. The film has yet to match its production budget domestically, and yet media outlets are not flooding the internet with reports of it being a massive failure. The reason for this is simply because it isn’t a failure, and neither is Suicide Squad.
Unfortunately. it looks like China has refused to release Suicide Squad on account that it has magic within the plot. Warner Bros. even attempted to appeal to China’s strict policies by changing the title of the film to Task Force X. This, apparently, was not enough. It will be interesting to see if China continues with this policy when Disney/Marvel’s Dr. Strange debuts later this year. The film is clearly heavy in magic tones, but China has yet to block a Marvel film. If they show favoritism over DC Comic films, it will surely spark a controversy.
Hopefully, audiences will continue to defy the critics and the obvious desperate attempts by certain media companies to tarnish Suicide Squad‘s clear success.