Box Office: “Suicide Squad” sets August opening weekend record — $135 million

boxIt started strong Thursday night, blew up Friday and didn’t tail off that much Saturday. Warner Brothers tinkered with the finished film for months, altered the marketing to make it seem more like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Marvel’s version of “Bad Guys get out of prison and save the world/universe.”

And made a general hash of “Suicide Squad,” critics agree.

But hiding the film from critics until it was very late in the game kept this the most anticipated movie of the summer, and that paid off with an opening weekend of epic proportions. Fans ignored reviews and turned out to the tune of $135 million. That’s a bigger opening than “Signs,” than “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It probably doesn’t matter that projections had pointed to a $146 million weekend, and it fell off so much Sat and Sun that it won’t reach those numbers. It’s still got the August record.

Well-played, WB. They made a movie that “Batman v. Superman” made them realize wasn’t working, erred too far on the side of comic book dark. And they marketed the hell out of it to convince people it wasn’t that dark, and that it is better than “Batman v. Superman.” And the fans? They bought it.

“Bad Moms” held onto a bigger portion of its opening weekend audience than “Jason Bourne,” and is a surprise hit — over 40% now.

“Bourne” lost well over 60% of its opening weekend.

“Star Trek” continues to fall off, steeply, but it’s at $127 million now.

The distaff “Ghostbusters” cleared $116 million, but like “Trek” is losing screens and won’t clear its announced budget, domestically.

The kiddie cat comedy “Nine Lives” cleared $6.6 million.


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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