It looks like The Suicide Squad will become the highest-earning R-rated film during the pandemic. James Gunn‘s film made $4.1M on Thursday preview showings. To be fair, it’s mainly going off against Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, and The Forever Purge. The overall reception has also been very strong, which can push it further over the weekend. Yet, the Delta Variant is still influencing insecurities about visiting the cinema, and the latest entry could add a bit more energy back into the Box Office.
The big question mark over its head lies in the simultaneous release on HBO Max. Just like we saw with other films that utilized this type of digital availability, it pulls the opening weekend down. There’s also the big risk on the second weekend, which has generally shown that general audiences aren’t willing to risk seeing the same film repeatedly, but prefer whatever was the latest release.
Predictions set it at a strong $30M+ opening weekend in domestic markets. It’s Thursday earnings push that prediction, but it’s uncertain if it’ll manage to pass $40M. The film seems to be on par with the release of Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. It earned $33.2M in its opening weekend before the pandemic close shop on theaters.
The only difference is that James Gunn’s project has a much higher budget, and Warner Bros. might be banking on a strong showing on their streaming service. Plus, given the current situation, the film could still be considered a success even with its hefty $185M budget. The next few days will give us a clearer look at where it’ll land once its weekend ends.