Suicide Squad will be the third official film in the DCEU (DC Extended Universe). It follows Man of Steel, and the recently released Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. While both Batman V Superman and Man of Steel focused on heroes, Suicide Squad will be different in that it will focus on the villains of the DCEU; namely, Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Joker—there are also rumors of a Deathstroke appearance.
The film is being heavily advertised and has so far received praise for its use of color and the chemistry between its stars. With the film only a few short months away from release, the question that must be asked is what is the box office potential of Suicide Squad?
Batman V Superman Fallout
Box office metrics are at best shaky and at worst unreliable, but I will do my best to break down the earning potential of Suicide Squad. The first fact that must be looked at would be that the film is coming off the mammoth box office of Batman V Superman (BvS). BvS made over $872 million dollars worldwide and $330 million here in the United States. While the film under-performed (many wanted it to make $1 billion) and was devastated by the critics, most fans whether they loved or hated the film did enjoy the portrayal of Batman and his relationship with Superman. All that being said, many who disliked BvS are looking forward to Suicide Squad as a sort of do over. This is helpful as those who loved BvS are excited for Suicide Squad, while those who disliked BvS are also excited for the new direction. This will enable full support from the fans of the DCEU and aid in its box office pull.
The Guardians of the Galaxy effect
Many have compared Suicide Squad with the Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG). They have been held in comparison due to the use of humor; the “Heroes” being lovable and likable rogues, and the adventurous nature of the story. GotG went on to make $330 million domestically and opened to $94 million. If Suicide Squad can gain the type of reviews and positive word of mouth, then a total similar to GotG is very possible. Both films have been marketed as being “fun” and the characters in Suicide Squad are definitely better known than in GotG. The only down side is GotG had many Marvel films come before it to solidify its fan base, while Suicide Squad has only had two that received lukewarm reception. This effect may have a negative reaction at the box office.
Box Office Prediction
Suicide Squad is tracking very well in how people are responding to its trailers—the first trailer has almost 50 million views on youtube—so it is safe to say it will have a large opening. An opening in the range of Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America Winter Solider would be the best. GotG had an opening weekend of $94 million, while Captain America 2 had an opening of $95 million; a safe bet would be an opening of around 88 million. If Suicide Squad is a total mess and is hated, it should have a final box office tally of $175 million (a 2X multiplier) and if the film is as loved as GotG was, then a 3X multiplier would be appropriate; leading to a total of around $260 million. The safest bet is that the film gets decent reviews and ends with a 2.5X and $220 million; these numbers would be a huge win for Warner Brothers, and would be a big boost of confidence in the DCEU.
The DCEU has had a rough road with two lukewarm films; Warner Brothers is counting on Suicide Squad to be a big hit. Suicide Squad does not need to be as big a hit as Deadpool or Iron Man 3, but it should be in the area of Captain America 2 or Thor 2. For the DCEU to get a big boost and throw off the negativity it has been tossed, Warner Brothers needs Suicide Squad to over perform and be loved by its fans. If the film holds up to the tone of the trailers then I think it is a safe bet that the fans will love and embrace it.