Due to the high number of vaccines (which is still insufficient), movie theatergoing has made a comeback in recent months, but a number of potential blockbusters have disappointed, if not outperformed. This weekend, perhaps the biggest bomb dropped. The Suicide Squad, DC’s $185 million quasi-sequel to the critically and director-panned but massively successful 2016 original, flopped in theaters with only $26.5 million in its first weekend. But it’s not as if no one saw it. One of the reasons it didn’t sell well in brick-and-mortar stores is that it’s available for free on a popular streaming service. And, according to the top brass, it had a huge premiere, at least online.
The news is buried in a box office piece by The Hollywood Reporter about the film’s dismal numbers. According to HBO Max chief Andy Forssell, the superhero villain pic wound up being the “second most-viewed film over an opening weekend on HBO Max since we began day-and-date releases with theaters.”
So, what’s at the top of the list? Mortal Kombat, which was released in late April and grossed $41.4 million in theaters, including $23.3 million on its opening weekend, is thought to be the culprit. In other words, both films had a similar opening weekend, despite the fact that Kombat was significantly less expensive to produce.
That implies The Suicide Squad, at least in terms of HBO Max streams, outperformed Wonder Woman 1984, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, and Space Jam.
It’s worth noting that this is HBO Max making the assertion. They didn’t provide any figures, and there’s no way to independently confirm their claims. It’s the same thing when Netflix announces that such-and-such a film was a box office smash. But if it’s true, a lot of people saw Margot Robbie pull off a fairly remarkable feat herself, and then see [SPOILER] eat it in the first 10 minutes of the film. So it’s possible that the movie they’re calling a bomb isn’t completely dead after all.
Another reason for The Suicide Squad’s poor box office performance is a little thing known as the pandemic, which has just resurfaced courtesy to a little thing known as the Delta variation. If The Suicide Squad exceeded even the second Wonder Woman, it indicates that people felt safer staying at home and pressing a few buttons than going out for an expensive night at the movies with individuals who might not be taking a once-in-a-generation public health issue seriously.