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Suicide Squad sets record with $20.5M in Thursday screenings

A good start for this doomed team

Suicide Squad photo Clay Enos/DC Comics/Warner Bros. Pictures
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Despite a sea of negative reviews, Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad pulled in $20.5 million at the domestic box office from Thursday night showings, the best Thursday night haul ever for a film opening in the month of August.

Suicide Squad obliterated the previous August record-holder, Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy, which made $11.2 million in 2014. IMAX screenings of Suicide Squad pulled in $2.4 million, 12 percent of the total gross. (None of the movie was shot with IMAX cameras.) As for how Suicide Squad stacks up against other DC Comics superhero films’ preview nights, it came in at No. 3, following The Dark Knight Rises ($30.6 million) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($27.7 million).

Warner Bros.’ supervillain team-up film is also doing very well outside the U.S. In two days of international release in 40 markets, Suicide Squad has made $29.6 million. Today, the film expands to 17 additional areas, including Mexico, Spain and the U.K.

Industry analysts project that Suicide Squad could pull in as much as $133 million domestically from Friday through Sunday. That would give it the 20th-best opening weekend of all time and the fourth-highest opening of 2016, beating out the $132.75 million that Deadpool made in February. The year’s top three openers are Captain America: Civil War ($179.1 million), Batman v Superman ($166 million) and Finding Dory ($135.1 million).

In order to hit that total, Suicide Squad would have to follow in the footsteps of its DC Extended Universe predecessor, Batman v Superman, and overcome an awful critical reception. The film currently holds a 27 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and only a 20 percent rating from the site’s top critics.

"Suicide Squad is neither the movie the Warner Bros. cinematic universe needs, nor the one it deserves," we said in our review.

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