×

Box Office: ‘Suicide Squad’ Shoots to Massive $20.5 Million on Thursday Night

Suicide Squad” has opened with a massive $20.5 million in Thursday night screenings in North America — setting a record for an August release and making it the 13th biggest preview showing ever.

This is also the third-largest preview total for a DC movie after 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises” with $30.6 million and March’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” with $27.7 million.

Suicide Squad” Imax screenings contributed 12%, or $2.4 million, last night.

“Suicide Squad” will annihilate the competition when it debuts across 4,250 theaters, setting a new record for the month with its $125 million-plus launch — far above the $94.3 million of “Guardians of the Galaxy” two years ago, which included a record-breaking $11.2 million Thursday opening.

The Warner Bros. tentpole is expected to overcome bad buzz and lousy reviews, which have generated a lowly 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film, directed by David Ayer, centers on jailed supervillains hired by the U.S. government to undertake covert operations and save the world.

The star-laden cast includes Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, and Cara Delevingne. Warner Bros. spent $175 million making the movie as part of its efforts to create an interlocking cinematic universe filled with DC superheroes, much like what Disney has achieved with the Marvel characters.

Fan support has been strong with nearly 4 million followers for the “Suicide Squad” Facebook page. Online ticket seller Fandango reported Tuesday that “Suicide Squad” was the top August pre-seller in the company’s 16-year history, eclipsing “Guardians of the Galaxy”; as of Friday, “Squad” represented more than 90% of its weekend sales.

Warner Bros. made its first foray into creating a DC universe with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which grossed a mildly disappointing $870 million worldwide after an impressive $166 million opening in the U.S. Critical response was largely negative, generating 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a B CinemaScore.

“Suicide Squad” is also expected to open to more than $100 million overseas this weekend when it rolls out across 57 markets, including such major territories as the U.K. and Mexico. However, it’s not expected to receive approval for entry into China due to its dark tone.

Rival studios are avoiding opening against “Suicide Squad” except for EuropaCorp’s family comedy “Nine Lives,” starring Kevin Spacey as an executive transformed into a cat. The $31 million production should open to around $9 million at 2,264 locations.

Universal’s second weekend of Matt Damon’s “Jason Bourne” will likely bring in at least $25 million — enough to push the actioner past $100 million.

‘Suicide Squad’ Members: Who’s Who

More Film

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at the The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Remains Box Office Ruler With $55 Million

    Joaquin Phoenix is king of the North American box office once again as “Joker” scores an easy victory in its second weekend with $55 million at 4,374 sites. “Joker” dominated a trio of new entries with animated comedy “The Addams Family” leading the rest of pack with $30.3 million at 4,007 venues, topping forecasts. Will [...]

  • French director Bertrand Tavernier attends the

    Bertrand Tavernier on Coppola, Scorsese, Cayatte, Cinema’s Bright Future

    Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier (“Round Midnight”) – president and director of the Institut Lumière and Lumière Festival, which he co-manages with Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux – has played a pivotal role in restoring classic French films and defending the importance of French directors, such as Claude Autant Lara, Henri Decoin and André Cayatte, who were [...]

  • 'Philharmonia'

    French Series 'Philharmonia' Sells to the U.K., the U.S. and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Philharmonia,” a French thriller series set in the world of a national orchestra, has been acquired in English-speaking territories from Lagardere Studios Distribution. “Philharmonia,” which was created and co-written by Marine Gacem, has been acquired by First Look Media’s Topic for SVOD rights in the U.S., and Walter Presents for the U.K. and Australia. “Philharmonia” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content