In a summer where nostalgia has started to show its downside, animated films have ruled the roost, and superhero films have really only had one huge hit, Suicide Squad helped keep the faith when it comes to big ticket cinematic universes. And while the DC Comics picture did suffer the typical slide in its profit picture, it managed to remain number 1 at the box office, with an estimated $43.8 million showing.
This estimate was reported by Variety, which puts the film above would-be contenders Sausage Party and Pete's Dragon, which came in second and third at the box office, respectively. While $43.8 million isn't the best second weekend we've seen this summer, especially from a juggernaut as huge as Suicide Squad was in its first weekend, it did manage one small, but important victory: it recorded a better second weekend than Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Percentage wise, this weekend's 67.3% drop for Suicide Squad was better than the 69.1% drop that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice suffered earlier this year. It's not a huge difference, but it's closer to Man of Steel's 64.6% slide in its second weekend, which could indicate that the DC Cinematic Universe is on the mend. In the best case scenario, Wonder Woman's release next summer could help reverse the trend even further, as the anticipation for that film could be measured as on par with, if not greater than, the current DC Comics offering. Of course, this would have been an easier prospect, had a source supposedly from inside Warner Bros not cast a pretty big shadow over director Patty Jenkins' superhero debut.
Even if the claims are unfounded, and they sound like they could be after Jenkins' personal refutations on her Twitter feed, Warner Bros and DC's track record with overselling their films before their theatrical release has been firmly established. With a disgruntled fan already demanding compensation for what they feel was "false advertising," as well as the documented absence of footage from both Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, trust may be running thin between the consumers and the studio.
For now though, Suicide Squad is a minted hit, and the money is just going to continue to pour in, and the future is uncertain for DC Comics and Warner Bros. We'll find out if Wonder Woman lives up to the hype or not as we get closer to its June 2nd, 2017 release date. Meanwhile, Suicide Squad's fate in theaters will be more readily observable, as it approaches its third weekend at the box office.