Movies have become a global business. More and more studios rely on foreign business in order to make their pictures a success. This is proving to be an issue for Suicide Squad, who just saw the second major hit to their international release plan. The sixth largest movie chain in the world has just canceled every screening of the film they planned. This means that fans in Mexico will have a much harder time finding the film.
Yesterday, via Twitter, Cinemex, one of only two theater chains that operate within Mexico, announced that, due to a last-minute disagreement with the distributor of the film, which according to their tweet, is Universal Pictures Mexico, they would be dropping all of their planned screenings for Suicide Squad. The exact nature of the disagreement is not mentioned, but based on translations of the statement, it appears that the distributor may have changed the terms of their deal at the last minute, the chain was not interested in the new deal, and so they have dropped the film. We can safely assume the issue was money, likely, what percentage of ticket sales the theater got to keep.
This is the second country to come out against Suicide Squad in as many days. Yesterday we learned that China, the second-largest movie market in the world, has refused to give Suicide Squad a release date. It appears that the movie's subject matter is being deemed "not a good movie to release in China." The feeling is that China isn't interested in a film that will propagate a negative value system. The nation doesn't have any sort of ratings system, so if China doesn't think kids should see the movie, then nobody does.
This one-two punch is certainly going to harm the overall box office success of Suicide Squad. The lack of a Chinese release is potentially a huge setback, as that country has the capability to turn box office bombs into successes, and successes into blockbusters. Now, adding a large chunk of Mexico to the list will only compound the problem.
It's unclear if Cinemex could reverse their decision if the distributor goes back to their original terms. However, as the film has already released in Mexico, even if it did, it's not likely they would be able to recoup nearly as much as they have already lost.
Domestically, the situation for Suicide Squad looks a little better. While the reviews have not been great, that's unlikely to harm the film's overall box office, which is currently estimated to finish the weekend somewhere in the neighborhood of $140 million. The more it can make here, the better for Warner Bros., as it now needs to makeup a lot of lost revenue overseas.