Suicide Squad is the next film in the DC Cinematic Universe, and even though the superhero genre is the most popular genre in this century so far, DC/WB have had some trouble in kickstarting their cinematic universe. Man of Steel was polarizing, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was critically panned, but what about Suicide Squad? It will be the first DC Cinematic Universe film without Kal-El (you assume), does that then mean it’ll work? Will Suicide Squad be a success?
Now, It would be really great to just say that it will be a success and then call it a day, but here’s the thing: Suicide Squad is a bit of a risk. It’s not just that Superman isn’t here. Most of these villains are no-names to the general public. Heck, even though Harley Quinn is a fan favorite character, I’m not sure the general moviegoing audience will be excited to see the film just for her.
Recently, the marketing has focused on making the film look fun, energetic, and crazy in the best possible way. They need to use the Joker in the marketing, and they have, but the best marketing choice so far has been to highlight Batman in the most recent trailer. Batman may not be in more than a couple of scenes in the film, but his presence should get people in line for the movie.
Now, what will decide if the film is a success? Contrary to popular believe, it is not based on whether or not the target audience loves it or not. It’s all about the money and the reviews. Look, I know reviews or critics is a sore subject right now, but critical reviews, word of mouth, and the box office numbers are all connected.
Suicide Squad opens the week after Jason Bourne and two weeks after Star Trek Beyond. Bourne could hurt Suicide Squad, but I don’t think it’ll have a huge impact on its opening weekend. It doesn’t open against any other gigantic film, as far as I’m aware, so it should do pretty well in its opening weekend (not Batman v Superman ‘well’, but still pretty well).
Right now I don’t think Suicide Squad will have as great an opening weekend as Deadpool had ($132m), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it landed right around Man of Steel‘s opening numbers ($116m). There’s just one thing that I’m worried about. Suicide Squad will be the fifth superhero film of the year, and I fear that there will be some superhero fatigue this summer (I think the genre will be fine, but five superhero films before September might be a bit much). Suicide Squad‘s main competitor in August will be Pete’s Dragon, but I think the audiences for those two films are pretty dissimilar.
As for reviews? Who knows? I’m excited for the film, but I have no idea if I’ll like it or not. I will say, though, that I expect the film to bring if not a tonal difference, then at least something fresh and different to the cinematic universe. These aren’t the same characters we’ve seen for years, and even though that may be risky, it may be the film’s biggest strength.
Detective Comics Saturday will return on the first Saturday of June.
– I’m Jeffrey Rex