James Gunn's new movie starring Margot Robbie and Idris Elba chomps the pandemic record for an R-rated movie.
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The Suicide Squad has taken a King Shark-sized bite out of the pandemic box office.

Thanks to strong Thursday night ticket sales totaling $4.1 million, the James Gunn-directed superhero flick now holds the title as the top-grossing R-rated pre-sale release since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to distributor Warner Bros.

Atop sturdy box office numbers across its theatrical debut, The Suicide Squad — starring Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, Viola Davis, and more in a DC Comics superhero tale — also generated glowing reviews from critics and audiences alike.

THE SUICIDE SQUAD
'The Suicide Squad' posts a major pandemic box office record.
| Credit: Jessica Miglio/™© DC Comics/Warner Bros.

Gunn's film serves as a pseudo do-over of director David Ayer's 2016 blockbuster Suicide Squad, which also starred Robbie and Davis, among others (like Will Smith), but was poorly received by fans and critics.

"It really is its own thing," Gunn previously told EW of the unorthodox approach to crafting a sequel-reboot hybrid. "The studio definitely balked."

Though the global box office was decimated for months by the coronavirus pandemic, ticket sales have slowly ticked back up as vaccinations rate rise. Several films have since crossed the $100 million mark, including Disney's Marvel superhero movie Black Widow ($169 domestically), Universal's high-octane sequel F9 ($169 million in North America), and Paramount's A Quiet Place II, which has posted $159 million since its theatrical bow.

The Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.

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