The Suicide Squad is finally here to play, and their film could do some serious business at the weekend box office.
As the most prominent new wide release (sorry, Nine Lives), the DC Comics adaptation will undoubtedly attract hardcore fan and casual audiences alike, while holdovers like Jason Bourne and Star Trek Beyond buckle under the weight of its presence.
Here’s how the Aug. 5-7 box office showdown could play out:1. Suicide Squad – $115 million+
With no new release competition and a crop of weakening holdovers gunning for the same demographic (Jason Bourne, Star Trek Beyond), Warner Bros.’Suicide Squad, which opens Friday on approximately 4,200 screens, is shaping up to handily top the weekend box office with a number that could approach $120 million.
Weak reviews plagued the film after its premiere earlier this week, but fan anticipation seems to be trumping the film’s critical lampooning; nearly 18,500 people have signed a petition calling for reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to cease operations in the wake of Suicide Squad‘s 29 percent score on the site, indicating passionate support from audiences that’ll likely translate to box office success.
Earlier this week, Suicide Squad broke the Fandango tracking record for August presales, besting 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy ($94.3 million opening) and last year’s Straight Outta Compton ($60 million opening) in overall advance ticket sales. This is good news for the expensive $175 million picture, as is its $8.1 million opening day overseas, where it debuted in seven markets including South Korea and Indonesia. The film will be released to 70 percent of its total international rollout this weekend on top of Thursday night previews at 3,700 theaters in North America.2. Jason Bourne – $23 million
Jason Bourne faces a massive tumble as it heads into its second weekend, with Suicide Squad poised to eat up a majority of the business that pushed it to an impressive $59.2 million debut.
The fifth installment in the franchise, which reunites Damon with frequent Bourne director Paul Greengrass for the first time in nine years, has already surpassed its $120 million production budget when taking foreign grosses into consideration, so a domestic fall to the tune of 60 percent shouldn’t matter much in the long run.3. Bad Moms – $13 million
Tapping into a consistently underserved demographic, STX’s Bad Moms attracted a predominantly female audience last weekend, debuting with an impressive $23.8 million.
The R-rated comedy features a likable cast that includes Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kathryn Hahn, and Christina Applegate, and audiences were impressed with what they saw: The film received a rare A grade on CinemaScore, which indicates an almost universally positive reaction from polled audience members. Summer comedies starring women (Spy, Trainwreck) tend to hang on stronger than genre films throughout the rest of the year, so Bad Moms should see a light decline as it continues to play the alternative to films like Jason Bourne and Star Trek Beyond.4. Star Trek Beyond – $11.5 million
After slipping nearly 60 percent from week one to week two, the prospect of Star Trek Beyond matching the overall grosses of its forerunners (2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness) became far less likely.
At $113 million domestically as of Wednesday, Beyond hovers at just under half of what Into Darkness grossed in total. With Suicide Squad closing in on a similar audience, Beyond’s numbers could fall hard again this weekend, likely pulling in around half of the $24.8 million it grossed across its sophomore frame.5. The Secret Life of Pets – $9.5 million
Having just crossed the $400 million mark worldwide, Illumination and Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets has performed so well that the studio greenlit a sequel, slated for 2018, earlier this week. It also became the seventh 2016 title to earn more than $300 million in the U.S., but it’s set to climb even higher by the end of its fifth weekend of release.
As the market’s hottest animated title (Ice Age: Collision Course disappointed two weeks ago and continues to drop), Pets looks to claim another $9-$11 million this weekend as effective counterprogramming to the action-heavy titles at the top.
Outside the top five, look for Kevin Spacey’s Nine Lives, which sees the House of Cards actor transformed into an animated feline, to pull in anywhere between $8-10 million. The film’s odd concept (Spacey as a cat? Really?) and relatively low theater count (2,264 screens) will prevent it from doing huge numbers, but its ensemble cast (Jennifer Garner, Mark Consuelos, Cheryl Hines, and Christopher Walken) and family-friendly appeal might keep it afloat.