This upcoming weekend sees the much anticipated comic-book adaptation Suicide Squad from Warner Bros. being unleashed on clamouring fans in what will surely be a new August opening record. Hoping for counter-programming dollars, EuropaCorp has convinced Frank Underwood (aka Kevin Spacey) to leave the Oval Office (House Of Cards, anyone?) and transform into a feline for the body-switching comedy Nine Lives.
– The social media response for the film has been nothing short of spectacular as covered in detail in our social media section. To sum it up neatly, it has been in the weekly top 10 on Twitter for the entire year and has firmly imprinted itself as the third highest buzz-getter all-time on Twitter before release behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Deadpool. On Facebook it has outpaced Deadpool in likes before release and is neck and neck with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. It is also one of only two films (the other being Avengers: Age Of Ultron) to see two separate trailers generate over 200,000 tweets in a single day.
– A strong recognizable cast is top-lined by Will Smith who is about as experienced as it gets for summer blockbuster hits. Though Smith’s box office appeal might be waning and far from its peak it is still formidable, as he has earned six summer-openings above $50 million in his career and 9 above $25 million.
– Arguably the most famous villain ever is The Joker, and this film will mark his first return to the screen since the late Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance in The Dark Knight. Jared Leto’s presence and early trailer looks has drawn a lot of attention to the film in and of itself and is yet another reason for its huge social media footprint. Leto will be the third Academy Award winner to play the role after the aforementioned Ledger and Jack Nicholson who played the villain way back in 1989 alongside Michael Keaton’s Batman.
– As the last big tentpole of summer 2016 it is well positioned to take over the box office and have a strong run throughout August.
– Though many of the actors are recognizable they are hardly A-list outside of Will Smith (arguably).
– Suicide Squad is not as popular as many of the other recent Marvel adaptations and outside of The Joker and possibly Harley Quinn most non-fanboys won’t be familiar with many of the characters.
– Early reviews have been very poor (under 35% on Rotten Tomatoes) which could have an effect on its legs going into August, echoing the woes that Batman V Superman had back in March for Warner Bros. That is, big opening weekend and massive plummet in the following weeks.
– The talking animal sub-genre has been very successful with the family demographic in recent years thanks to the advancement in computer-generated imagery (CGI). The Jungle Book and the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise come to mind.
– Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner and Christopher Walken are all very established and recognized actors which will help the film’s visibility.
– With Ice Age: Collision Course missing the mark a couple weeks ago and this seeing a wide PG release, it could potentially tap into the family demographic and surprise.
– Social media has been very unusually quiet here for the film. While we wouldn’t expect it to challenge Suicide Squad the fact that it is yet to cross 20,000 Facebook likes after months of having an official Facebook page indicates that awareness is poor and that it will not be seeing a breakout to a wider demographic than just young kids at best.
— It is opening in only 2,264 theatres which will no doubt limit its potential.
Top 10 Forecast
Box Office Pro forecasts this weekend’s top ten films will generate $226.6 million. That would mark a huge 99% increase from last year’s $113.3 million when Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation led the domestic box office for the second week in a row with $28.5 million.
Check out our complete weekend forecast below.
|Domestic Total through
Sunday, August 7
|Star Trek Beyond
|The Secret Life of Pets
|Ice Age: Collision Course
|Warner Bros. (New Line)
|Sony / Columbia