The highly anticipated release of James Gunn’s not sequel, not reboot “The Suicide Squad” has impressed both audiences and critics, earning a 91% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on over 200 reviews. The movie delivers on promises of intense R-rated violence and off-kilter humor, with a cast that includes returning actors Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, and Jai Courtney, as well as newcomers to the DCEU with Idris Elba, Daniela Melchior, Sylvester Stallone, and John Cena, among others. The 2021 film focuses on Davis’s Amanda Waller as she leads two teams of crazy criminals to take down a Nazi-era laboratory called Jötunheim that is rumored to be the home base of a secret experiment known as “Project Starfish.”
Following up the disaster that is 2016’s “Suicide Squad,” there was a lot riding on this movie doing well. Thankfully, “The Suicide Squad” appears to have met the approval of longtime DC fans and regular moviegoers alike and overall the new film can be deemed a success, except for one factor — the box office. According to CNN Business, the new movie made approximately $26.5 million domestically during its first weekend, falling short of the $30 million industry projected return. So what happened? And why is the box office no longer the best landmark for a film’s success?