Suicide Squad Sets New August Record
Warner Bros. Pictures’ highly anticipated superhero adventure Suicide Squad overcame terrible reviews and crushed the record for best August opening weekend with $133.68 million, one of the top weekends of the year. It also marked a return to box office gold for Will Smith.
The hugely hyped dark ensemble film starring Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto as a team of misfit superheroes who battle the Enchantress claimed the second-highest opening weekend of the summer behind May’s Captain America: Civil War. It also destroyed the previous highest August opening, when Guardians of the Galaxy opened with $94.3 million in 2014, as well as 2001’s Rush Hour 2 with its inflation-adjusted record $103.1 million August opening. Compared to other superhero films this year, Suicide Squad debuted 24.5 percent behind the $179.1 million opening of Captain America: Civil War and 18.6 percent behind the $166.0 million opening of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, that is actually not far behind considering those films were sequels containing some of the most recognizable superhero characters ever, while this was a first installment whose characters are comparatively new to audiences outside the existing comic book fandom. Suicide Squad also opened 2.0 percent ahead of Deadpool’s $132.4 million opening and more than doubles the $65.7 million opening of X-Men: Apocalypse.
It also marked a comeback for Smith, who for about 10 years from the mid-’90s to mid-2000s was by some measures the single biggest box office draw in Hollywood. Arguably Smith’s last huge hit was Hancock in 2008. Since then he has starred in such low-grossing films as After Earth, Focus, and Concussion, none of which grossed more than $70 million. Men in Black III made good money in 2012, but also earned by far the trilogy’s lowest domestic gross, virtually ensuring that their won’t be a fourth installment.
Last week’s top film, Universal Pictures’ Jason Bourne, dropped to second place with $22.40 million, a higher second-weekend drop than any of the predecessor films in the franchise. Its 62.2 percent second-weekend drop was higher than the other previous Matt Damon-led installments of the action spy series: 44.4 percent for The Bourne Identity, 54.0 percent for The Bourne Supremacy and 52.5 percent for The Bourne Ultimatum. While some of the steep drop can be attributed to the competition from Suicide Squad, mixed reviews and word of mouth were also significant factors. With $103.11 million grossed through 10 days, Jason Bourne is 37.5 percent and 24.9 percent behind the inflation-adjusted grosses of Ultimatum and Supremacy through the same period.
STX Entertainment’s Bad Moms came in third with $14.00 million. The R-rated comedy’s 41.2 percent second-weekend decline was about in line with those of other recent female-centered R-rated comedies, including the 42.6 percent drop for Trainwreck and 46.3 percent for Spy. Bad Moms has earned $50.85 million through 10 days.
Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets continued its run with a fourth-place $11.50 million finish, maintaining its strong showing throughout the summer with a 39.2 percent decline. Its $319.52 million total through five weekends is 4.3 percent ahead of Inside Out and 16.0 percent ahead of Zootopia through the same period.
Paramount Pictures’ Star Trek Beyond hung on to the top five with fifth place and $10.04 million, but continued its sharp drops with a 59.4 percent drop, close to its fall last weekend. Both its second- and third-weekend drops were larger than the second- and third-weekend drops for previous installments Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek, which fell 55.0 percent and 46.8 percent respectively in their third weekends. Star Trek Beyond has earned $127.74 million to date, which is 27.4 percent behind Into Darkenss and 30.6 percent behind Star Trek through the same period.
EuropaCorps Films’ Nine Lives starring Kevin Spacey as a man who turns into a cat got off to a bad start with $6.25 million and looks to fade off the map quickly.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|4||4||The Secret Life of Pets||$11.50M||$319.52M||5|
|5||2||Star Trek Beyond||$10.04M||$127.74M||3|
|10||5||Ice Age: Collision Course||$4.33M||$53.56M||3|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.