The Suicide Squad Scores With Critics, Disappoints at Box Office

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The Suicide Squad got off to a less-than-promised start at the American box office, and performed similarly in its international theatrical expansion — James Gunn’s soft reboot of the DC (anti) superhero movie garnered $26.5 million (about Rs. 196 crores) in the US and Canada, while it made $35 million (about Rs. 260 crores) from 69 markets elsewhere. It was expected to do $30 million in the former and touch $40 million elsewhere. Add that to its opening weekend gross from last week and The Suicide Squad currently stands at an estimated $72.2 million (about Rs. 536 crores). For a movie budgeted at $175 million (about Rs. 1,300 crores), it has a long way to go before it earns for Warner Bros.

Box office analysts have offered a variety of reasons for The Suicide Squad’s under-performance. One, COVID-19’s Delta variant is ripping across the globe, including in the US where the rate of new cases and hospitalisations in certain areas is rivalling the worst days of the ongoing pandemic. This has also affected the likes of Australia, Mexico, and most of South East Asia. While cinemas are open in most Indian states, they are operating with reduced capacity. The Suicide Squad’s India box office numbers are not publicly available. The DC film also doesn’t have a release date in China, further impacting its box office potential to begin with.

Review: The Suicide Squad Is More Than DC’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Moreover, The Suicide Squad’s day-and-date release — it’s available on HBO Max in the US — has led to high-quality piracy, as with all films practising this strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s also the matter of its title: The Suicide Squad is three letters away from 2016’s Suicide Squad of which it is a soft reboot. The first film was hated upon by critics and DC fans, though that didn’t stop it from bringing in $267.1 million (about Rs. 1,982 crores) on opening weekend, and going on to make $746.8 million (about Rs. 5,543 crores) during its theatrical run. Lastly, there’s also the matter of its stricter R-rating (“A” here in India), which cuts out a big portion of comic book movies’ target audience.

Of that $35 million gross outside North America, The Suicide Squad’s biggest territories were Russia ($4.2 million), Korea ($2.6 million), Germany ($2.2 million), Mexico ($2 million), Brazil ($1.5 million), Spain ($1.3 million), and Italy ($1.1 million). In the UK and France, the DC movie is now up to $10.8 million (about Rs. 80 crores) and $3.4 million (about Rs. 25 crores), respectively, having released in both markets last weekend. Japan still awaits with The Suicide Squad out August 13 in the East Asian nation.

Elsewhere, the Dwayne Johnson- and Emily Blunt-led Jungle Cruise added $30.8 million (about Rs. 228 crores) worldwide in its second weekend — $15.7 million (about Rs. 116 crores) from the US and Canada, and $15.1 million (about Rs. 112 crores) from 49 territories around the world — to take its global total to $121.8 million (about Rs. 904 crores). The biggest markets outside North America are the UK ($8.5 million), Russia ($5.9 million), France ($4.2 million), Japan ($4 million), and Saudi Arabia ($2.7 million).

Scarlett Johansson-starrer Marvel title Black Widow is now up to $359.8 million (about Rs. 2,670 crores) globally, as it became the 2021 champ for the biggest movie in US and Canada ($174.4 million vs $171 million), beating out Fast & Furious 9 — though the racing heist franchise leads overall with $661.4 million (about Rs. 4,909 crores) globally. F9 had a $12 million (about Rs. 89 crores) weekend, with $6.8 million (about Rs. 50 crores) coming in from Japan where it released this weekend.


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