Monday, 8 August 2016

Box Office: Suicide Squad Brings New Meaning to 'Squad Goals'

A barrage of bad reviews simply wasn't enough to slow the momentum of Suicide Squad going into its opening weekend, where the film performed as projected bringing in $135 million over the weekend and breaking several records in the process. The DC Comics adaptation can boast not only having the largest August opening day to date ($62.5 million), but also the largest August opening weekend of all time dwarfing Guardians of the Galaxy's $94 million from 2014.

There was never really any doubt that Suicide Squad would open big, but what these reviews have called into question is the film's long-term performance. No matter what your personal opinion of the film is, there's no denying that Batman v Superman's critical reception did impact its box office takings, and can be considered at least partly responsible for the film's hefty 69.1% second week drop. That film ultimately went on to gross $872 million worldwide, a figure which Warner Bros. saw as disappointing. This isn't hugely surprising when you consider that the combined cost of Batman v Superman's production and marketing was a colossal $415 million, and film studios usually only see about half of a film's box office gross returned to them (in this case that would be about $436 million).

It's hard to say for sure whether Suicide Squad will suffer the same rapid decline as BvS, but at this point it seems like there's a solid chance. Some analysts are expecting Suicide Squad to drop by about 67% next weekend, a slightly better hold than DC's previous feature although BvS did open higher so perhaps that's an unfair comparison.

One thing that Suicide Squad does have in its favour is a relative lack of competition. The widest release next weekend is Disney's Pete's Dragon remake which seems to have a general lack of buzz surrounding it. The Mouse House has had a lot of success with previous live-action remakes Cinderella and The Jungle Book, but at this rate Pete's Dragon is unlikely to perform on those levels. I would predict a debut between $30 and $35 million, performing more in line with the likes of Alice Through the Looking Glass and TMNT: Out of the Shadows than those bigger Disney juggernauts. However, even if the film was to open higher it doesn't seem to share an audience with Suicide Squad and the two could still conceivably co-exist.

Animated comedy Sausage Party could eat into more of the Squad's target audience, but the film's R rating should keep it from overtaking the DC flick. At this point, it's difficult to predict whether Sausage Party will perform on the level of recent Seth Rogen comedies This Is The End and Neighbours 2 (both of which opened with around $20 million), or if it can wrangle in a greater audience with its unique premise in the same way Seth McFarlane's Ted did back in 2012 (which opened with over $50 million). I'd say its most likely to fall somewhere in between, but land closer to a Rogen debut (especially considering Ted 2's under-performance seems to suggest audiences only have so much time for these kinds of comedies).

Meryl Streep biopic Florence Foster Jenkins also opens next week, but with a smaller theater count could struggle to make an impact. A performance on-par with last summer's Ricki and the Flash seems a reasonable expectation, that would give Jenkins a debut between $5 and $8 million.

We'll have more box office coverage coming later today, in the meantime here's the top ten in full:

1. (-) Suicide Squad - $135 million
2. (1) Jason Bourne - $22.7 million
3. (3) Bad Moms - $14.2 million
4. (4) The Secret Life of Pets - $11.5 million
5. (2) Star Trek Beyond - $10.2 million
6. (-) Nine Lives - $6.5 million
7. (6) Lights Out - $6 million
8. (8) Nerve - $4.9 million
9. (7) Ghostbusters - $4.8 million
10. (5) Ice Age: Collision Course - $4.3 million

And here's our final predictions for next week's chart:

1. Suicide Squad - $50 million
2. Pete's Dragon - $33 million
3. Sausage Party - $28 million
4. Jason Bourne - $12 million
5. Bad Moms - $9 million

Outside of the top five, we're predicting a $6 million debut for Florence Foster Jenkins. Be sure to come back next week to see how our predictions compare to the real results!


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