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Maybe bad reviews really don't matter. Despite facing an overwhelmingly negative response from early critics, David Ayer's Suicide Squad finally screened for the fans last night, and the DC community turned out in droves to support the next chapter in the growing DCEU.
Suicide Squad opened to a massive Thursday night number, posting an estimated $20.5 million in preview screenings, according to early numbers shared by Variety. This is a record-shattering figure, and one that bodes very well for the rest of Suicide Squad's opening weekend. This number is good enough for the best August Thursday of all time. Even better, it nearly doubles the previous record holder -- Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy -- which posted an $11.2 million Thursday night back in 2014. Guardians went on to earn $94.3 million during its opening weekend. Does that mean Suicide Squad could nearly DOUBLE that number?
It's unlikely, but always possible. Naturally, word-of-mouth will play a huge factor in Suicide Squad's success going forward. The critics didn't care for David Ayer's movie, but if fans turn out, the movie could outperform expectations, and reestablish DC's standing amongst its fan base.
The hefty Suicide Squad number was also good for a handful of other milestones. According to Box Office Mojo, it's now the 12th largest Thursday, ahead of The Hunger Games. However, in a direct-line comparison, it's behind the $27.7M earned by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in March. Zack Snyder's team up movie went on to earn $166 million in its opening weekend... but as we all know, it drastically slowed down, and failed to cross that all-important $1 billion mark at the international box office.
So, what's next for Suicide Squad? These next few days will help tell the overall story. As we have reported, the super-villain team up is running into a few issues overseas, with important markets like China and Mexico coming up with reasons not to screen the DC thriller. And using Batman v Superman as a case study, it's very possible that the Squad's success will be frontloaded, meaning that the early numbers will be huge, but the casual crowds won't flock -- or repeat business won't end up being a factor.
What Suicide Squad has going in its favor is the lack of competition on the horizon. Other movies that open in the heat of the Summer Blockbuster Season often have to contend with another massive movie opening the next weekend. Outside of Pete's Dragon (a different audience) and Sausage Party, Squad doesn't really have a heavy hitter on the horizon with which it must compete.
Did you see Suicide Squad yet? Once you did, hit up the forum we created for fans to discuss the movie in detail. We'll continue to track the movie's box office all weekend.