Suicide Squad: Box-Office Records, Domestically and Internationally

Suicide Squad smashed records, scoring a colossal $135.1 million debut despite getting some of the worst reviews of the year.

That sets a new mark for an August launch, topping Guardians of the Galaxy $94.3 million bow.

It also ranks as a new personal best for star Will Smith, trumping I Am Legend’s $77.2 million debut in 2007.

The movie is resonating with foreign crowds. “Suicide Squad” earned $132 million overseas from 57 territories, bringing its global total to more than $267 million.

“It bested anything that we could have expected,” said Jeff Goldstein,  Warner distribution executive vice president. “The marketing campaign was brilliant and the performances by the cast, starting with Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto, were just extraordinary. They’re fun and wicked and fans enjoy it.”

“Suicide Squad” has been one of the most hotly anticipated films of the summer. Buzz on the film has built steadily since Warner released a teaser trailer at last year’s Comic-Con that highlighted Jared Leto’s grill-sporting Joker and Margot Robbie’s demented Harley Quinn. However, the studio was caught off guard by withering reviews, prompting concern on the lot that the poor reception would damage the opening numbers.


“There’s a major disconnect with between what the critics are saying and what audiences are seeing,” said Goldstein.

Young Audiences Under 18

Audiences appeared to like “Suicide Squad” better than critics, handing the film a B+ CinemaScore. Younger consumers were more receptive to the film’s charms than older moviegoers, with audiences under the age of 18 giving it an A rating. The question is will “Suicide Squad” show some endurance?

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the previous entry in DC Comics’ series of interconnected superhero films, was also panned by critics. It managed to overcome the bad notices to debut to $166 million, but the poor word-of-mouth caught up in its second weekend, pushing it down by nearly 70%.

Impact of Negative Reviews

There are signs the hostile reviews are already damaging Suicide Squad. The film dropped sharply on Saturday, falling 41% from its Friday numbers, which include Thursday pre-show results.

The studio spent $175 million making the picture, including tens of millions on reshoots. But the high cost isn’t the only concern. DC is struggling to generate the same level of excitement for its stable of Batman, Superman and assorted Justice League heroes that Marvel has managed to stoke for its movies.

“Suicide Squad” was a difficult birth. Production on the film was reportedly rushed with writer and director David Ayer having less than two months to turn a script around. The film centers on a team of super villains who are recruited for a black ops mission by the U.S. government.

Men accounted for 54% of  opening weekend audience, with more than half of the audience clocking in under the age of 25. Warner released the film across 4,255 locations. Imax accounted for 381 of those venues, and the big screen company comprised $11 million of the first weekend gross.

Warner had something to celebrate besides “Suicide Squad’s” hefty numbers. The studio crossed the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office over the weekend, powered by hits such as “Central Intelligence,” “The Conjuring 2” and even the much-loathed “Batman v Superman.” The studio is now the only Hollywood player to reach that milestone for 16 years in a row.