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James Gunn Compares The Suicide Squad To Jaws While Talking About Its HBO Max Release

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The DC Extended Universe grew last week with James Gunn’s R-rated romp The Suicide Squad. The blockbuster hit both theaters and arrived straight to homes via HBO Max. And Gunn recently compared his DC debut to Jaws while discussing The Suicide Squad’s unique release strategy.

The Suicide Squad has been in theaters for a week now, with James Gunn’s blockbuster continuing to make headlines for the foreseeable future. There’s been some talk about the movie’s box office performance, as theatrical releases have yet to live up to money making potential from the pre-COVID times. This is especially true for projects that are also available to stream from home. Gunn explained his perspective on The Suicide Squad’s release while referencing Jaws, saying:

I don’t really care that much. I really just care about whatever the project is in front of me. The Suicide Squad is made to be seen first and foremost on a big screen. I think it’s gonna work just fine on television. Listen, movies don’t last because they’re seen on the big screen. Movies last because they’re seen on television. Jaws isn’t still a classic because people are watching it in theaters. I’ve never seen Jaws in a movie theater. It’s one of my favorite movies.

The man’s got a point. All movies, no matter how much money they make at the box office, eventually close their theatrical window. As such, classics like Jaws or Star Wars: A New Hope become classics because they’re watched over and over again-- being passed down from generation to generation via home release. So The Suicide Squad has the potential to have a legacy, despite many viewing James Gunn’s debut from the comfort of their own homes via HBO Max.

James Gunn’s comments to Variety show the mature way he’s approaching The Suicide Squad’s release during these unprecedented times. Throughout his process working on his DC debut, Gunn has been open about how much freedom and fun he’d had with Task Force X. Because of this artistic satisfaction, he’s likely able to look at the movie’s two-tier release and box office numbers with clarity. And he’s seemingly not phased with The Suicide Squad being available to stream during its time in theaters.

The Suicide Squad is currently available on HBO Max for a limited time. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Jaws is just one example of a classic movie where the majority of moviegoers out there haven’t actually seen it on the big screen. That hasn’t stopped Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic from continuing to pierce the pop culture zeitgeist, especially every summer. So while The Suicide Squad might have been watched on televisions and other devices, that doesn’t mean the new movie won’t have an impact on the DCEU and industry as a whole.

The discourse around The Suicide Squad has been interesting, as there’s always a ton of online discussion with each new DCEU installment. In addition to the film’s contents, there’s also clearly been chatter about how much money it managed to make at the box office. Smart money says that continues until the next installment in the DC universe arrives.

The Suicide Squad is in theaters and HBO Max. Be sure to check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.