Box Office: 'The Suicide Squad' Posts Record-Breaking Opening Despite Underwhelming Performance
Warner Bros. Pictures

Raking in an estimated $25.6 million, the James Gunn-directed superhero movie's first week of ticket sales fall short of expectations amid Delta variant concerns.

AceShowbiz - "The Suicide Squad" has a less than explosive start amid the resurgence of coronavirus cases in America. Debuting at No. 1 on the North American box office in the week ending August 8, the superhero ensemble film falls short of expectations with approximately $25.6 million.

While an opening weekend below $30 million isn't surprising in the pandemic era, it is still disappointing considering the film cost $185 million to produce and many millions more to promote globally. Moreover, the James Gunn-directed pic was expected to make more as it has excellent reviews (Certified Fresh at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Still, "The Suicide Squad" first week's ticket sales post the best opening for R-rated movie during the pandemic. It is slightly ahead of HBO Max/Warner Bros' previous R-rated titles, including New Line's "Mortal Kombat" ($23.3M) and "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" ($24.1M).

Internationally, "The Suicide Squad", which has a starry cast line-up with Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone and Viola Davis just to name a few, brings another $35 million from 70 overseas territories, bringing its global tally to $72.2 million.

Back to the domestic chart, "Jungle Cruise" falls to the second place with an estimated $15.7 million, dipping 55% in its second weekend. "Old" follows far behind in the third place with approximately $4.1 million.

"Black Widow" and "Stillwater", meanwhile, round up the top five, holding onto the fourth and fifth place respectively. The latest Marvel movie adds an estimated $4 million, while the Matt Damon starrer earns approximately $2.9 million.

David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, weighs in on the business amid the concerns over the Delta variant. "Currently, this is an unforgiving market," he says. "Under normal conditions, a strong marketing campaign can overcome a few drawbacks and generate a good weekend. Under current conditions, that isn't happening."

Top 10 of North America Box Office (Aug. 06-08, 2021):

  1. "The Suicide Squad" - $26.5 million
  2. "Jungle Cruise" - $15.7 million
  3. "Old" - $4.1 million
  4. "Black Widow" - $4 million
  5. "Stillwater" - $2.9 million
  6. "The Green Knight" - $2.6 million
  7. "Space Jam: A New Legacy" - $2.5 million
  8. "Snake Eyes" - $1.6 million
  9. "Escape Room: Tournament of Champions" - $1.25 million
  10. "F9" - $1.2 million

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