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Weekend Predictions: Suicide Hopes to Have Long Life at the Box Office

August 4th, 2016

Suicide Squad

Before we talk about the weekend predictions... Warner Bros. owns D.C. Comics and a 30% share in Rotten Tomatoes. So accusing Rotten Tomatoes of having an anti-D.C. bias is silly. Starting a petition to shut down Rotten Tomatoes is a sign you really need a more productive hobby. I suggest Magic: The Gathering. ... Moving on... Suicide Squad is the last major release of the summer. Unfortunately, its reviews are among the worst of any $100 million movie released this summer. The counter-programming this week is Nine Lives, a talking animal / body swap movie that still has no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Many analysts think it will fail to reach the top five during its opening weekend. This weekend last year was the weekend Fantastic Four opened. Suicide Squad should crush that movie at the box office. In fact, it should earn more than the top ten earned last year.

Suicide Squad is the follow-up to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in the DC Extended Universe. BvS opened huge, but due to its terrible reviews, it collapsed even faster. Sadly, the same thing could be at play here. There are two major problems the film will have to deal with. Firstly, its reviews are barely better than BvS reviews were. People burned by that movie are much less likely to show up to this movie, while those who do see it are likely to spread bad word-of-mouth. Secondly, there’s reports the film will need to make $750 million to $800 million worldwide to break even. This brings up two questions. 1.) How? and 2.) No seriously, how? Reports had the initial budget at just over $100 million. Reshoots pushed that to $175 million. Unless they spend more than $175 million on marketing, there’s no way they need $750 million to $800 million worldwide to break even. As for its opening weekend, there are some who think this film will earn $140 million or more during its opening weekend; nearly all think it will become the first August release to hit $100 million during its opening weekend. I’m going with $125 million over the weekend and hopefully it won’t collapse next weekend.

So far this summer, nearly every live-action tentpole release has fallen either 58% or 59% during its second weekend of release. It appears Jason Bourne will be no different. The reviews are neither much better or much worse than most of the rest of the tentpole releases, while its weekday numbers are also tracking about the same. If it does follow the pattern, then it will earn $25 million over the weekend, putting it over $100 million after just ten days of release. Since it “only” cost $120 million to make, this is a great start and it will break even sooner rather than later.

While nearly all tentpole releases have fallen nearly 60% this summer, Bad Moms is aimed at a female audience and that should help it avoid such a fate. In fact, there are some who think it will fall less than 50%. I’m not willing to go that far, but I can see it coming close with just over $11 million this weekend.

Star Trek Beyond will be right behind with just under $11 million. This film is doing okay compared to its $180 million budget, but it will need help internationally and on the home market to break even. On the other hand, it is part of a franchise, so if the film’s release helped boost DVD / Blu-ray sales and helps promote the upcoming TV show, it could make the studio money, even if the film itself loses money. This is why every studio is trying to create their own MCU. The synergy reduces the risk and this is needed when films routinely cost nearly $200 million to make.

The Secret Life of Pets should round out the top five with just over $10 million. It reached $300 million on Tuesday and had already hit $400 million worldwide on Monday, so there’s no doubt it has broken even already. Everything it makes now is pure profit.

The final wide release of the week is Nine Lives. There are still no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. This is not a good sign. Live action family films tend to struggle and the lack of reviews will hurt when families decide what movies to see. Furthermore, the film isn’t opening in that many theaters. There’s a slim chance the film will earn a spot in the top five with over $10 million, but I think sixth place with $9 million is more likely.

- Suicide Squad Comparisons
- Nine Lives Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Secret Life of Pets, Jason Bourne, Suicide Squad, Star Trek Beyond, Bad Moms, Nine Lives, Star Trek, Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Extended Universe