“Suicide Squad” came in first at the box office this past weekend, but its makers may not be happy: like this year's earlier DC Comics film “Batman v Superman,” its record-setting opening weekend was followed by a big drop, suggesting that negative reviews are keeping would-be watchers at home – or at competing films.
“Squad” grossed more than $43 million this past weekend, while the animated comedy “Sausage Party” placed second, taking in more than $33 million in its opening weekend. The Disney live-action movie “Pete’s Dragon” placed third in its own opening weekend, taking in more than $21 million.
The action film “Jason Bourne,” the newest entry in the action series, placed fourth after having debuted in late July, grossing more than $13 million this past weekend, while the comedy “Bad Moms,” which had also opened in late July, came in fifth place, grossing more than $11 million.
Coming in first place at the box office is never a bad thing. But industry observers are noting that the "Squad" gross of $43.8 million is a far cry from its $135.1 million gross last week. It’s a pattern that was seen earlier this year with the superhero movie “Batman v Superman,” which is also based on DC Comics characters and was released by Warner Bros.
Such a dramatic drop between weeks one and two, "while not unexpected for a film of its size," can indicate "poor word of mouth," the Associated Press reports. Like “Batman v Superman,” “Suicide Squad” was not well-received by critics, and earnings for both slipped nearly 70 percent after just a week in theaters.
Brent Lang of Variety called the performance by “Squad” this past weekend one of the “victories that feel more like defeats.”
“It’s a signal that the deplorable reviews are catching up with the film and is unwelcome news for Warner Bros., which is trying to launch an inter-connected series of cinematic adventures based on DC Comics characters, but is still struggling to make movies that people like, as well as attend,” Mr. Lang writes.