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'Suicide Squad' Shoots Down August Record with $135 Million Opening

by Brad Brevet
 

 
August 7, 2016

For the third time this year a superhero movie has broken an opening weekend record and with it a continuing trend that finds the previous week's box office champion suffering a hefty second weekend drop. This time around it's Warner Bros' Suicide Squad decimating the previous August opening weekend record by more than $40 million while Universal's Jason Bourne experiences a 62% drop in its sophomore session. That said, with the top twelve totaling a massive $223.9 million, this weekend's top twelve was up a whopping 87% compared to the same weekend last year. In fact, this is the first time this calendar weekend has ever grossed over $190 million, let alone cracked the $200 million mark.

Finishing in first place with an estimated $135.1 million, Warner Bros. and DC Comics' Suicide Squad now holds the largest August opening weekend, topping Guardians of the Galaxy's $94.3 million from 2014. The film also had the largest August opening day with $65.2 million, which included the largest August Thursday preview total of $20.5 million. Combined with a $132 million international opening from 57 territories, the film's global opening haul ranks 24th all-time with $267.1 million, topping Deadpool's worldwide opening of $264.7 million earlier this year, which opened in 63 international markets.

Budgeted at $175 million, the film's theatrical longevity now comes into question as it holds a mere 26% rating on RottenTomatoes and could be looking at a steep, 65+% drop next weekend. Earlier this year, fellow DC Extended Universe release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened with a record-breaking $166 million only to end up dropping 69.1% in its second weekend and ultimately only delivering $330.3 million domestically, a 1.99 multiplier, the worst multiplier for a film opening over $100 million ever.

Suicide Squad did score a "B+" CinemaScore, which is slightly higher than Batman v Superman's "B", but that's hardly enough to make much of a difference. It's current 7.1 rating on IMDb is, however, lower than the 7.5 Batman v Superman had at the same point in its release cycle as audiences seem to be having a similar reaction to the film as they did its DC predecessor. From an audience perspective, the audience was 54% male vs. 46% female with women rating the film an "A-" on the CinemaScore scale versus a "B+" from the men. Interestingly enough, IMDb's user voting currently shows a similar trend with females scoring the film 7.3 vs. males scoring it with a 6.9. Additionally, 54% of the audience was under the age of 25 and 76% of the audience was under the age of 35.

Of the film's opening weekend haul, $11 million came from 382 IMAX screens, $13 million from Premium Large Format (PLF) screens and another $3.2 million from Extreme Digital (XD) theaters.

Looking ahead, in all likelihood it seems safe to expect a drop around 67% or more next weekend with a strong possibility Suicide Squad may finish with a multiplier right around 2.22, pushing hard for a $300 million domestic run, perhaps coming up a bit short.

GET MORE: Compare 2016's Superhero Movies Side-by-Side!

Finishing in second place, and dropping 61.6% after taking the top spot at last weekend's box office, Universal's Jason Bourne finished second with an estimated $22.7 million. While the latest installment in the Bourne franchise had a strong opening, including an "A-" CinemaScore, it was obviously affected by the release of Suicide Squad.

There just doesn't seem to be enough room on the release schedule as Bourne may have been better off had it waited until the last weekend of August. In fact, had Bourne waited a few weeks to release it may have also helped Star Trek Beyond, which dropped another 59% this weekend after dropping 58% in its second weekend when it faced Bourne's debut. The final month of Summer 2016 has certainly had its share of strong openers and anticipated features, but by sharing a large portion of the audience they are cannibalizing each other.

One holdover from last weekend that wasn't relying heavily on the male demographic was Bad Moms and it certainly helped the film its second weekend as it dropped only 40.4% for an estimated $14.2 million. The cume for the $20 million feature has now climbed to $51 million domestically.

The weekend's other new wide release was EuropaCorp's Nine Lives, which featured Kevin Spacey as a talking cat. The family feature delivered an estimated $6.5 million from 2,264 theaters and may struggle next weekend as Pete's Dragon is likely to steal the majority of any remaining audience next weekend. The film scored a "B+" CinemaScore and currently sports a dismal 4% rating on RottenTomatoes.

Elsewhere in the top ten, Warner Bros. and New Line's Lights Out has now crossed $54.7 million domestically and $85.7 million worldwide on a budget right around $5 million. Additionally, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures' The Secret Life of Pets took in another $11.5 million for a fourth place finish domestically and added another $68.6 million internationally as the film's global cume has now topped $500 million and stands at an impressive $502.2 million.

Speaking of animated films, while this past week saw the end of the domestic run for Disney's Zootopia with $341.3 million, the studio still has Finidng Dory in worldwide release and, with a global cume of $870 million, it is about to pass Batman v Superman and become the fourth highest grossing release of 2016 at the worldwide box office. With $473.8 million, Dory currently ranks as the eighth highest grossing domestic release of all-time and will be passing Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in the next couple of days for the seventh slot.

Next weekend sees the release of Disney's Pete's Dragon in 3,400 theaters, Sony will release the R-rated animated feature Sausage Party into 2,800+ theaters and Paramount will release the Meryl Streep-led Florence Foster Jenkins into 1,500 theaters.

One final note, there will not be a weekend preview this coming Thursday, but we will be back next Sunday with a full recap of the weekend.

For a look at this weekend's estimated results click here and we'll be updating the charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.



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