As [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) finally falls out of the Top 5 at the Domestic Box-Office, being knocked off by the sequel/prequel The Huntsman: Winter's War, I think there is a potential situation that needs to be addressed. Yes, as ridiculous as it seems, the upcoming Suicide Squad may outgross Batman v Superman. Before even the second week of this film’s release, this would have seemed like an impossibility. But as the weekend drops get larger and larger, and the film looks to wrap up under 850m worldwide, this reality seems more likely. So, here are 5 Reasons why Suicide Squad will make more money than Batman v Superman.
1. It Has More Popular Actors
Batman v Superman had a lot of things going for it, but powerful actors were not one of them. Ben Affleck seems like a box office draw at first glance, but a look at his projects in the last 10 years and that illusion crumbles. He has starred in over 14 box office bombs since 2000, and hasn't been a part of a film that has crossed 500m worldwide since 2001, and that was Pearl Harbour.
He may have made a minor artistic comeback with Argo, but that does not equate to box office power, Ben Affleck is simply not a draw. As for the rest of the cast, well every single film Henry Cavil has starred in since 2011 outside of the DCEU has flopped. Gal Gadot has only found success through Fast and Furious, almost all of her other projects (Triple 9, Criminal) have all, again, flopped hard. So, looking at all this, i think it’s safe to say that say that the cast of Batman v Superman were not the reason the film opened with 166m.
Suicide Squad, however, is the opposite. It has one huge casting advantage over Dawn of Justice; Will Smith. This Philadelphia born actor has been one of the biggest box office draws of all time since he starred in Bad Boys in 1995.
He is especially suited for action films, as he has turned badly received original projects such as I Am Legend and Hancock into 500m grossing hits thanks exclusively to his star power. Even his “failures" like I, Robot and MIB3 have all more than doubled their budgets worldwide, and would be considered hits if anchored by another star.
It doesn’t stop there, as Margot Robbie, another addition to the cast, has proved that teamed with Will Smith she can draw crowds, as her recent effort Focus, tripled its 50m budget worldwide. Adding on her supporting roles in successful films like The Wolf of Wall Street and About Time, and things are looking pretty good for Suicide Squad.
Because of this it has a huge advantage over Batman v Superman, as people will come to the film just to see the actors, adding a huge potential market. Unlike BvS, it won’t have to rely completely on the strength of its characters. But, speaking off…
2. It Has More Popular Characters
Now, although the title “Batman v Superman” may suggest a film whose characters are its strong point, when you actually look at who is in each movie, Suicide Squad is the clear winner.
As I discussed in my “Is Superman a Box Office Draw?” article, the Man of Steel doesn’t really have that much of a knack for drawing in the masses, and Wonder Woman is, at best, an added value element, not something that people will buy tickets to see. I mean, this was the first time she’s ever been onscreen.
The only thing that BvS had in terms of a character with strong box office pull is Batman, and guess what?, Suicide Squad has that to, and they’ve pulled no punches in including him in the trailers. In fact, in can be argued that Suicide Squad has Batman in a better situation, because he’s paired with the Joker. Both other two times this has happened (The Dark Knight and Batman 1989), huge hits have been produced, so the audience only has positive implications to this pairing.
Even the Joker on his own, because of those two films, is a huge draw. He’s a cultural icon that surpasses any side character in BvS; Lex Luthor or Doomsday, combined. Adding on from this, the film has Harley Quinn, a fan favourite and prominent character in the rest of Batman’s media, such as the Arkham games or animated films.
If you need proof of this, just look at the trailer view counts for both movies. Because Suicide Squad has the Joker or Harley Quinn in the thumbnail, compared to the images of Superman or Wonder Woman for BvS, they achieved much higher view counts. So, with just a little bit of consideration, it becomes clear that Suicide Squad easily beats Batman v Superman in this department.
3. It Doesn’t Have to Deal with the Backlash of Man of Steel
Now, this is kind of a minor point, but all these things do add up to help Suicide Squad. Batman v Superman, despite its attempts to be part of a huge franchise, was ultimately set back by being a sequel. Man of Steel (for all its rabid defenders on the IMDB message boards), was not a well received film.
It holds 55% on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, and presented audiences with a Superman that didn’t sit entirely well with them. Even its box office performance, though pulling in an impressive 660m worldwide, pales in comparison to other modern superhero films such as GOTG, Deadpool, X-Men: DOFP and The Winter Soldier, just to name a few.
Therefore being associated with this film isn’t a plus, in fact it’s kind of a handicap. And Batman v Superman is very associated with it, it’s plot is based on the events of the film. So it has to be accepted that people who didn’t like Man of Steel would have not seen the film for that very reason.
Suicide Squad doesn’t have that downside, it’s tied to, as I mentioned before, critically acclaimed hit films, through the appearance of the Joker. But, even better than that, it isn’t directly related to a specific franchise, like the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher or Chris Nolan series, it only capitalises on the idea of the Batman/Joker duo, taking all of the pros with none of the cons, and stepping itself up once again from Batman v Superman.
4. It Offers Something Completely New
No matter how much of an appealing and audience friendly premise Batman and Superman fighting each other was, it wasn’t something new. “Versus” movies have been a Hollywood staple for many years, with films like Alien vs Predator or Freddy vs Jason capitalising on it in the past.
In fact, audiences didn’t even have to wait more than a month to see superheroes fight on screen, Civil War has the very same selling point, and it has it with more characters and better reviews. But Suicide Squad has the set-up of villains teaming up and acting as the protagonists. Not only does this play to DC’s obvious strength in its bad guys, but it offers something entirely new for people.
Villains teaming up is something audiences have never seen before, least of all for superhero movies. And it is interesting enough that it may bring in people who normally wouldn’t come to see the film. Recent history has shown, whether through Avatar, Deadpool or Guardians of the Galaxy, that people will flock to see something new and different. So, through its wildly individual premise, this is one huge advantage this film has over BvS.
5. It Will (Probably) Be Better
Okay, this is an entirely hypothetical point, but the evidence that can be seen all points towards Suicide Squad being a better film than Batman v Superman. First of all, the bar isn’t set very high. BvS currently sits at an atrocious 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, lower than most modern blockbusters, even stereotypically “bad” ones such as Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Batman Forever.
Suicide Squad doesn’t even have to be good to be better than this film, it just has to be okay. And the studio is clearly taking all the steps it can to make sure that’s how it turns out. Reshoots are happening to address the issues people had with BvS, such as adding in a sense of comic book fun. Many look at these late fixes as being a bad sign for the film, but in the context of the DCEU, they are the opposite.
Batman v Superman clearly showed us that someone needs to take charge of where this franchise is going, and make changes that reflect what the people want. If BvS had had these sort of edits there is no doubt the backlash for the film would be much lighter.
Reshoots being bad for an upcoming Marvel film? Sure, but for a DCEU film, where big changes need to be made to get the whole universe back on track, I think they are only going to help. The creative team, as well, positions Suicide Squad as being a better film. David Ayer, through critical hits such as Fury and End of the Watch, has shown himself to be a, not necessarily better, but maybe more focused director than Zack Snyder, and focus is exactly what the DCEU needs right now. It’s all up in the air, but it seem Suicide Squad will ultimately clear the low critical bar set by BvS, adding another point in the films favour.
Okay, there are my thoughts on the box office prospects of Suicide Squad. Did you agree with my points?, how do you think Suicide Squad will perform? Talk about it in the comments below, and if you enjoyed this article, follow the page to see when we post a new one.