James Gunn had the option to direct any film for DC Entertainment, as they wanted his talents for their next big hit, and chose to essentially re-do a critically panned blockbuster (that was considered a failure even by many who saw the original comic book adaptation in theaters). This new and revamped iteration of the similarly titled 2016 film, The Suicide Squad raked in $4.1 million on Thursday night, making it the biggest R-rated film since the start of the pandemic. What’s really worth noting is the showtimes began at 7 pm, which highlights the large audiences per viewing in such a limited time frame.
As part of WarnerMedia’s pandemic plan, the film is screening both in theaters and in homes on HBO Max. Gunn, known for Marvel’s The Guardians of the Galaxy series, has added a fresh take to the DC canon, making it the most well-received movie out of the franchise, with a 93% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating. Despite this, many will argue that the marketing team made a mistake in not clarifying the title, is it a sequel or a reboot? Gunn, adding to the confusion, says it is neither.
Friday has been even better for the film, taking in $12 million, but we’ll see if they’ll be able to break even of their massive budget, especially since the film is readily able to anyone with an HBO Max account. There haven’t been many R-rated films to top the box office during the Covid-19 era, so we’ll see its streaming service release will play a factor in its success. It’s a sign of the times that we live in, with big studios like Warner Bros. forced to compromise box office sales for potential at-home audiences due to a pandemic that lingers on.