David Ayer's Suicide Squad beat the odds this summer and became a huge success. Despite some fairly lukewarm critical reviews, the Task Force X solo movie resonated with audiences and charged headfirst to a $745 million box office gross. According to Warner Bros. executive Greg Silverman, we can attribute much of the film's success to its high levels of diversity. He explained:
I think our movies have to be more diverse both in front of and behind the camera, for [a] complete business imperative. The movies that we make that are more diverse, have a more world-viewed voice behind them, are more successful. And the first one where we really pushed it was Suicide Squad. And look, it's the most successful, original piece of intellectual property in film of the year. Having Hispanic leads and multiple African-American leads, and strong women in the cast. ... Having the diversity made us play worldwide, to all ages and all different kinds of people, and that's what we want. As many people buying tickets, and getting moved by our content, as possible.
During a recent interview with Variety, Greg Silverman addressed the overwhelming financial success of Suicide Squad at the end of the summer blockbuster season. By his estimation, one of the major factors that contributed to the film's overall gross was the high level of diversity associated with the production. In a genre that's typically dominated by white male heroes, introducing characters like Deadshot, El Diablo, and Harley Quinn really helped the movie. Providing strong representation for a number of different demographics cast a wide audience net all around the world, which in turn effectively helped drive audience attendance and engagement with the property.
This has become a fairly well established fact over the course of the last year. Films that feature diverse ensembles of characters generally tend to perform incredibly well -- particularly overseas. From Star Wars to the Fast & Furious series, we've seen a massive influx of diversity among the central ensembles of major franchises, and their respective box office performances have started to show the influence of that increased representation.
We're starting to see other superhero franchises pick up on this notion as well. Although the Marvel Cinematic Universe started out as a fairly monochromatic affair, Marvel Studios has made some serious changes. With that in mind, we will soon get a far more diverse ensemble of heroes into the fray with a major black superhero with Black Panther in 2018, as well as Marvel's first female-driven franchise in the form of Captain Marvel in 2019.
Given the overwhelming success of Suicide Squad at the worldwide box office, we have a distinct feeling that Warner Bros. and DC won't slow down any time soon. The DCEU is about to get far more diverse, and we expect the money to start rolling in as a result. The Task Force X solo movie will be available on Digital HD on November 15, while the Blu-Ray and DVD editions of the film will hit shelves the following month on December 13.