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Box Office: ‘Suicide Squad 2’ Takes Huge 82% Friday Drop

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at January 1, 1970

The Suicide Squad earned around $2.24 million (-81.4%) on its second Friday, bringing its eight-day cume to $37.37 million. That positions the $185 million, R-rated James Gunn-directed DC Films sequel for a $7.2 million (-72.5%) weekend and a mere $42.4 million ten-day cume. In terms of Friday-to-Friday drops, that’s among the worst single-day drops for any major comic book movie, ahead of only Batman v Superman (-81.6% from an $81.6 million opening day) and X-Men: Dark Phoenix (-83% from a $14 million opening day). In that weekend hold plays out as such, it’ll also have one of the worst second-weekend drops for a major comic book flick, coming in ahead of only Steel (-78% from a $870,068 weekend).

Truth be told, the film is playing pretty close to Fantastic Four, which opened with $25.6 million on that same early-August weekend in 2015. It dropped 68% for an $8.1 million gross and $42 million ten-day total. The obvious differences are A) The Suicide Squad earned rave reviews and B) Fantastic Four wasn’t released in the middle of a pandemic and with a concurrent HBO Max streaming option. There’s a case to be made that the 73% drop isn’t that much worse than the 69% drop for Black Widow or the 67% drop for F9 in weekend two, although the MCU flick opened with $80 million and the Fast Saga sequel opened with $70 million.

Suicide Squad dropped 67% in weekend two, but it was coming off a $133 million debut. The Suicide Squad’s ten-day gross is less than Suicide Squad’s $43.5 million second-weekend gross. To be fair, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman 1984 both took massive 67% drops in weekend two but then leveled out. In Suicide Squad’s case, it was the last biggie of summer and it played fine to general audiences who just wanted a Batman/Joker/Harley and/or Will Smith superhero movie. Cue a $325 million cume (2.4x), leggier that summer than Captain America: Civil War ($409 million/$179 million). Wonder Woman 1984 stuck around by virtue of having little-to-no competition, earning $46.5 million from a $16.7 million debut for a 2.78x multiplier.

If The Suicide Squad legs out accordingly, it’ll end with between $62 million and $69 million domestic. Fantastic Four-like legs will give it $56 million, or less than the $65 million opening day of Suicide Squad. There is no way that you can’t blame the sheer smallness of the numbers on Covid. Had The Suicide Squad opened last weekend in a non-Covid world, we’d probably be talking about a drop from Suicide Squad ($325 million domestic and $745 million worldwide) closer to The Secret Life of Pets 2 or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Presuming a 55% drop all around, that would be an over/under $60 million debut, a $145 million domestic finish and a $366 million global cume.

That’s great when your Shazam! and only cost $90 million. Less so when you’re a $185 million-budgeted Suicide Squad sequel. Might the strong pre-release reviews have led to a bigger opening and longer legs? Sure, but a sequel without most of the elements (no Will Smith, no Batman, no Joker, Robbie’s third turn as Harley, horrible reviews and lukewarm reception for the first Suicide Squad, etc.) that made its predecessor appealing was always a long shot. Hiring James Gunn to direct a DC Films flick and hoping folks would associate him with those Marvel movies they loved is not unlike Skydance hiring John Lasseter (off-screen allegations and obvious talent entirely notwithstanding) to run their animation department and hoping folks will associate it with Pixar.

Neither filmmaker was a marquee artist for general audiences, and most folks associate Guardians of the Galaxy with the MCU just as most folks did and do associate Pixar with the Disney brand. “Gunn directing a Suicide Squad movie” was a fine added-value element, but it was never going to work as the whole pitch, especially not at $185 million. Likewise, Margot Robbie’s general audience appeal as Harley Quinn is clearly overstated by we folks in the movie news bubble, and Idris Elba has never been as big of a star as the Internet likes to pretend he is. Even on a Covid curve, The Suicide Squad is underperforming mostly because it had nothing to offer beyond “Oh, another Suicide Squad flick.”

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