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Suicide Squad may be exactly the film DC needs

by Sean P. Aune | July 16, 2016July 16, 2016 2:00 pm PDT

Suicide Squad team picture

Could Suicide Squad be the film that finally makes the DC Extended Universe a true contender to Marvel? The advance tracking sure seems to indicate that.

This week, the first tracking numbers – the predictions of how a film will do at the box office – came out for the upcoming Suicide Squad. They were good. They were real good. As of right now, the indicators are pointing to a $125M opening for a film filled with comic characters that the majority of the general public knows absolutely nothing about.

Suicide Squad occupies an odd position in the DC comic universe as it is a team made up villains. When it was announced that this would be the basis of the third DC Extended Universe film series, most people who follow these types of productions were left scratching their heads a bit. How was this going to play with the general public? Anti-heroes such as Tony Soprano have worked on television, but a whole team of them on a massive budget? It seemed risky at best and a train wreck at worst.

Bringing David Ayers in to direct was a good move, but he isn’t a household name. He has a distinct style, though, and one that felt like it would fit the source material. Announcing that the character of the Joker would be involved in the film also helped, but then the first picture came out.

joker-jared-leto-official-pic

I’ve said to many friends, ‘can you truly imagine the Joker sitting still long enough for those tattoos?’ I’ve gotten to a point where I’m somewhat blind to them except for ‘Damaged’ on his forehead. That one still irks me.

As set photos surfaced it still seemed like an odd bag, but then once footage surfaced from San Diego Comic Con in 2015, the die hard comic fan base finally seemed to get behind the film at least somewhat. It still left some of us wondering about the general public, though.

Now as we inch towards the August release date and the marketing push is in full swing, things seem to be catching on for this odd little film made up of characters like Enchantress, Katana and El Diablo. Yes, you can pick out Will Smith in the cast, but does the guy walking towards you on the street have a clue who Deadshot is? Probably not.

The $125M projection puts this film below Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s opening weekend of $166M, but that is almost like the proverbial apples and oranges. You had a film boasting two of the most iconic characters in the world front and center in the title versus a film based on a team that virtually no one has heard of.

And this is why you have to wonder if this is the shot in the arm the DC films need. Man of Steel opened to $116.61M in the U.S., and went on to a total of $291M, and $668M globally. BvS opened to $160M, but quickly dropped and finished domestically with $330.36M and $872.66M globally. In theory, Suicide Squad shouldn’t be eyeing an opening weekend anywhere close to the films, but yet here we are.

If this film has any legs to it at all, it could breathe life into the overall DCEU which has been lacking since the horrible reviews of BvS. There have been numerous rumors of Warner Brothers going into full on panic mode as Suicide Squad was already in production, Wonder Woman was about to start and Justice League was gearing up. There was a ton of money already on the line and what was seen to be a sure fire hit, an easy film to go well over $1 billion, brought in ‘just’ $872M.

A lot is riding on a band of misfits that hardly anyone knows, but from these initial tracking numbers it looks as though they may indeed not only save the world, but possibly a film universe as well.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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