THE SUICIDE SQUAD shoots into first!
The second mission for DC Comics’ supervillain team battled to the top of the box office this weekend as THE SUICIDE SQUAD opened with an estimated $26.5 million!
The R-rated slaughter from director James Gunn (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, SLITHER) had the best opening for an R-rated movie to hit theaters during the pandemic. The Warner Bros. release had a stronger domestic opening than the other R-rated movies that also simultaneously debuted on their HBO Max streaming service in 2021, topping the $23.3 million of MORTAL KOMBAT and the $24.1 million start for THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT.
THE SUICIDE SQUAD also opened bigger than the $16.4 million of fellow DC Comics adaptation WONDER WOMAN 1984 (the studio’s first simultaneous HBO Max premiere), although that movie only arrived on half the number of screens last December as theaters were still struggling to reopen their doors.
Unfortunately those are about the only bragging points that can be claimed by THE SUICIDE SQUAD, which the studio expected would earn $30 million or more on its opening. The R-rated Harley Quinn headliner BIRDS OF PREY started with $33 million in Februrary 2020 before stalling with $82 million domestic and $201 million worldwide just before the global shutdown began. (The R-rated but non-DCEU movie JOKER opened with $96.2 million and finished with $335 million domestic and $1.07 billion worldwide in late 2019.)
The first attempt with the comic property, David Ayer’s troubled SUICIDE SQUAD, was a surprise smash in August 2016 with a record-breaking $133 million domestic opening. That PG-13 release, with Will Smith as the big name among the expendable antiheroes, ended up with $325 million domestic and $746 million worldwide (a higher gross than DC’s MAN OF STEEL and JUSTICE LEAGUE).
Not strictly a direct sequel or reboot, the new costumed carnage brings back the 2016 movie’s Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis and Jai Courtney, and adds familiar faces like Idris Elba, John Cena, David Dastmalchian, and a whole bunch of others who may or may not survive to the end (most likely not).
The irreverent bloodbath has also collected $45.7 million from international territories for a worldwide total of $72.2 million, on a cost reportedly as high as $185 million.
Drifting down to second place was the Dwayne Johnson/Emily Blunt adventure JUNGLE CRUISE with $15.6 million, losing 55% of business from its opening on top last weekend.
The PG-13 movie based on the Disney theme park attraction has a ten-day domestic total of $65.3 million and $121.8 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $200 million. (The movie can also be viewed on the Disney+ streaming platform for an extra $30 fee.)
Hanging on to third place was the PG-13 horror-thriller OLD with $4.14 million over its third weekend. The $18 million Universal movie by filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has a domestic total of $38.5 million and $65.1 million worldwide.
In fourth place was Marvel’s BLACK WIDOW with $4 million on its fifth weekend. The PG-13 superhero action movie (which prompted contract disputes against Disney for its availability on the Disney+ service) has a domestic total of $174.3 million and $359.7 million worldwide, on a reported $200 million cost.
The R-rated Matt Damon thriller STILLWATER stayed in fifth place with $2.86 million, down by 45% from its opening last weekend. The $20 million drama from Universal’s Focus Features has a ten-day domestic total of $10 million.
In sixth place was the R-rated period fantasy THE GREEN KNIGHT with $2.59 million, a cut of 62% from last week’s opening. The twist on the King Arthur legend has a ten-day domestic total of $12.1 million, on a reported cost of $15 million.
The PG-rated animated/live-action sequel SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY was in seventh place with $2.47 million. After four weekends on screens (and HBO Max), the $150 million Warner Bros. release has a domestic total of $65.7 million and $135.4 million worldwide.
In eighth place was the PG-13 action movie SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS with $1.62 million, giving Paramount’s prequel a domestic total of $26 million after three weekends.
At the bottom of the list were sequels ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS with $1.25 million and F9: THE FAST SAGA with $1.23 million, while animated sequel THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS tumbled off the chart.
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