Weekend Box Office: Suicide Squad’s $135.1 Million Broke The August Record

It seems like there’s always a good news/bad news situation with box office reports this year, and the good news for Suicide Squad (my review) is that it grossed $135.1 million domestically. That’s a great opening, the third best of the year behind Batman V Superman ($166 million) and Captain America: Civil War ($179 million), and ahead of such notables as Finding Dory ($135 million) and Deadpool ($132 million). It also set a new August record, beating Guardians of the Galaxy‘s $94.1 million opening in 2014. Globally, it earned $267.1 million from 57 territories, 24th of all time, and again just ahead of Deadpool. This on an official budget of $175 million.

Any downside you can find to that news is going to be fairly minor, but that being said, the movie did fall off over the course of the weekend, earning $65.265 million on Friday, dropping 41% to $38.8 million on Saturday, and a further 20% to $31 million on Sunday. The weekend total was 2.071 times the first day, and if you look at the Friday-to-total-weekend multiplier as a harbinger of the eventual opening weekend-to-total domestic run multiplier, that’s not great. Though it’s not disastrous either:

The picture earned a 2.071x weekend multiplier, just above Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2.04x). But that’s still not a good result regarding long term interest. The good news is that the last two Dark Knight sequels had relatively frontloaded debut weekends (2.35x and 2.1x respectively) but went on to earn 3.37x and 2.8x their respective $158m and $160m debut weekends. But Watchmen made $107m off a $55m weekend (1.94x) and Batman v Superman grossed $330m off a $166m debut (1.98x) earlier this year. Heck, Green Lantern made $116m off a $53m weekend (2.1x) in 2011 while Man of Steel earned $291m off a $128m weekend (2.27x) in June of 2013. [Forbes]

Basically, it’s making a ton of money, though the front-loaded nature of it suggests mild-negative word of mouth, with audiences being about as lukewarm on it as critics (as I’ve said, the audience-critic divide is largely mythical). It received a B+ Cinemascore from the audience (which in the context of Cinemascores is a lot worse than a B+ usually sounds), slightly better than Batman V Superman‘s B. Interestingly, women liked the supposedly very sexist film more than men, according to the numbers.

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. [BoxOfficeMojo]

Ha, 6.9, nice. (For what it’s worth, I think a lot of the sexist/misogynistic arguments against Suicide Squad rest on the idea that some of the characters’ behavior was being celebrated, or that the Joker/Harley Quinn relationship wasn’t supposed to be toxic and abusive. I don’t think the film was especially celebrating any of its characters’ misogyny, but it’s hard to pin down intention in a movie as tonally convoluted as Suicide Squad. And you probably aren’t looking to the guy who just made a 69 joke to figure it out).

With Suicide Squad making all that merney, Jason Bourne took a tumble. The fifth film of the dour assassin series fell 61.6% off its opening weekend, easing to $22.7 million for the weekend.

For comparison, the last four Bourne movies all dropped (respectively) 54%, 44%, 52%, and 55%. [Forbes]

Star Trek Beyond got hit almost as bad in this, its third weekend, falling 58.8% to $10.2 million, for $127.9 milllion in total domestic box office thus far. This for a film that cost $185 million to make. I’m not a mathematician, but $185 million seems like way too much to spend on a Star Trek movie.

One film that was notably not affected by the steep drop blues was Bad Moms, which eased off its opening weekend only 40.4%, adding another $14.2 million for $51 million total, on a film that only cost $20 million to make. Clearly, it’s proving to be strong counter-programming at a multiplex full of morosely-punching and shooting dude-busters. Unfortunately, the film itself (I thought) is bad and sort of toxic, but hey, points for timing. Maybe we’ll get a movie like Bad Moms that’s actually written or directed by a woman next time. Baby steps.

Finally, one film that did not benefit from being counter programmed was Nine Lives, which turned Kevin Spacey into a cat but only earned $6.5 million over the weekend. If you’re looking for a stinging comparison, look no further than Forbes, who point out that Nine Lives‘ $6.5 million is even less than the $7.9 million Space Chimps made opening against The Dark Knight in 2008. As I wrote on Friday, Nine Lives didn’t even screen for critics, which made it seem like the studio was embarrassed of it. Which very well could’ve been the case, considering the EuropaCorp exec whose pet project it was (“pet project,” get it? yeah yeah you see what I did there), Christophe Lambert, died suddenly earlier this year. I’m guessing the new leadership at EuropaCorp wasn’t quite as thrilled with the idea as he was, and who could really blame them.

Anyhoot, next week brings us Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant in a cheeky period piece, Seth Rogen’s R-Rated animated food comedy, Sausage Party, and Pete’s Dragon. I’ve been hearing good things about all of them, so that’ll be a nice departure.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Suicide Squad $135,105,000 $31,752 $135,105,000
2 Jason Bourne $22,710,000 (-61.6) $5,623 $103,416,000
3 Bad Moms $14,204,000 (-40.4) $4,418 $51,050,000
4 The Secret Life of Pets $11,560,000 (-38.9) $3,383 $319,578,000
5 Star Trek Beyond $10,200,000 (-58.8)

$3,126 $127,901,000
6 Nine Lives $6,500,000 $2,871 $6,500,000
7 Lights Out $6,005,000 (-44.4) $2,327 $54,714,000
8 Nerve $4,900,000 (-48.1) $1,931 $26,888,000
9 Ghostbusters $4,800,000 (-52.6) $1,886 $116,711,000
10 Ice Age: Collision Course $4,300,000 (-60.9) $1,570 $53,539,000

[Chart via ScreenCrush]