×

Box Office: ‘Suicide Squad’ Targets Record-Breaking $125 Million Debut

Fans could give the DC Comics cinematic universe a second chance.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” may have been given a cold shoulder from critics and received a tepid response from fans, but audiences are still interested in the comic book company’s movies. “Suicide Squad,” a spin-off centered around an elite team of super-villains,  is racing towards a smashing August debut, according to pre-release tracking. It should bring in anywhere from $100 million to $125 million, on the high end, when it hits theaters on Aug. 5. That should easily bypass “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” $94.3 million launch to become the biggest debut ever for an August release.

It’s still early, so those numbers could shift depending on whether or not reviewers like the film, but it likely has the brass at Warner Bros. breathing a sigh of relief. The studio had intended to launch its own in-house answer to Marvel with “Batman v Superman,” but pitting the Man of Steel against the Dark Knight didn’t set off the kind of fireworks it had hoped. The film grossed $872.7 million globally, but with a budget of $250 million and millions more spent on promotion and advertising, analysts were disappointed that it didn’t hit the $1 billion mark.

Suicide Squad” had its own struggles. The film endured extensive re-shoots, which one insider said was to fill out the backstories of several characters and to fix some tonal issues. Warner Bros. hasn’t released a budget, but that kind of additional photography is usually pricey.

“Suicide Squad” features a number of Batman adversaries, including the Joker (Jared Leto), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Will Smith (Deadshot) who are recruited by a shadowy government agency to pull off a black ops mission. Ben Affleck’s Batman will also show up, providing another link to the DC Comics universe. David Ayer  (“End of Watch”) directed and wrote the film.

It’s been a bruising summer at the box office, with a number of costly flops such as “Warcraft” and “The BFG” dampening spirits. In that atmosphere, “Suicide Squad’s” tracking could give the industry hope that things might be on the upswing. There’s more reason for optimism. Universal’s “Jason Bourne,” which brings back Matt Damon as the amnesiac spy, is also resonating with audiences. The thriller is on pace for a launch in the $50 million range.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Gerard Butler Angel Has Fallen

    Film Review: 'Angel Has Fallen'

    “Angel Has Fallen” marks the third time that Gerard Butler, as the Secret Service agent and scowling samurai cowboy Mike Banning, has had to rescue the President of the United States from an international conspiracy so cuckoo bananas that the movie barely expects you to believe it. (Actually, in the six years since this series [...]

  • Jessica

    Ninja Thyberg's Female POV Porn Industry Portrait Seduces Buyers (EXCLUSIVE)

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Paris-based Versatile has announced a raft of pre-sales on Ninja Thyberg’s debut feature “Jessica,” set in the adult entertianment industry in L.A. World distributors that have pre-bought the Swedish drama take in Weltkino for Germany/Austria, Xenix for Switzerland, MK2/Mile End for Canada, KTH for South Korea and Movie Could for Taïwan. Several [...]

  • Sony Pictures: 'We Are Disappointed' by

    Sony 'Disappointed' by Disney's Divorce on 'Spider-Man' Projects

    Sony Pictures has gone public over its divorce with Disney on future “Spider-Man” projects. In a rare public rebuke to Disney, Sony announced Tuesday night that it was “disappointed” over the decision, highlighting Disney’s refusal to allow Marvel President Kevin Feige to continue as a producer on the projects. It also praised Feige, who teamed [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    ‘Good Boys’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Good Boys.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.42 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Demi Lovato

    Demi Lovato Joins Netflix Comedy 'Eurovision'

    Demi Lovato has joined the upcoming Netflix comedy film “Eurovision.” Will Ferrell, who co-wrote the film with Andrew Steele, announced the news Tuesday with an Instagram post, in which he wished Lovato a happy birthday with a “homemade” cake. Following the announcement, Lovato can be seen blowing out candles on the cake next to a “Eurovision” [...]

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Film News Roundup: Rob Schneider Wins SAG-AFTRA National Board Seat

    In today’s film news roundup, Rob Schneider wins a SAG-AFTRA board seat; “Badland,” “Sorry We Missed You” and “Extracurricular” find homes; and “The Shawshank Redemption” gets a re-release.  SAG-AFTRA Rob Schneider has won a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Schneider won a four-year term [...]

  • This photo shows actor David Oyelowo

    David Oyelowo Joins George Clooney in 'Good Morning, Midnight' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Oyelowo is in final negotiations to join George Clooney in Netflix’s untitled adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel “Good Morning, Midnight,” sources tell Variety. Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler are also on board, with Clooney set to helm the pic — his first feature film directing gig since 2017’s “Suburbicon.” “The Revenant” screenwriter Mark [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content