Will Suicide Squad Retake Its Lacklustre Box Office Crown?

It’s the Labour Day weekend. Probably the slowest weekend of the year, movie-wise. People go to the cottage, go to the Canadian National Exhibition, hit Fan Expo, stuff like that. And some folks still go to the movies. But not many of ’em. One of those non-movie peeps is our own Andy Burns, off to Fan Expo. So this weekend I’m making the box office predictions. Cuz I’m Vegas like that. This weekend there’s a tired old dog limping toward the finish line, and a few new pups eager to show their moxie. Where you gonna put your chips?

Two new films are bowing this weekend. The first is Morgan, from Luke Scott, Ridley Scott’s son making his feature debut. It’s a sci-fi horror hybrid about a risk management consultant (Kate Mara) trying to decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created human being (The Witch‘s Anna Taylor-Joy). With a host of recognizables in smaller roles (Toby Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Rose Leslie, Paul Giamatti), and the Scott genes at the helm (Ridley produced, too), it should do well. The second is The Light Between Oceans, from director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine). Starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz, the film is a period drama about a lighthouse keeper and his wife raising a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat. After several years, the girl’s real mother enters their lives, and the couple faces a dilemma. This might be a more tepid outing from Cianfrance, but we’ll see.

So them’s the pups, a disparate litter for sure. And that grizzled old dog? Well that’s ol’ Suicide Squad, the mangey DC hound that wouldn’t quit. The much maligned villain-hero flick has managed to put up decent box office numbers, though expectations seem to have been set much higher. In the four weeks it’s been out, Suicide Squad has pulled in $640 million worldwide. It’s unlikely to beat Batman vs. Superman‘s worldwide take of $872 million over twelve weeks (itself a disappointment with hopes of making the $1 billion club). But then why would it? The latter is the meeting of two tentpole franchises. The former is a motley group of bad guys largely unknown outside of comics circles. To me, it’s impressive just how large the built-in base for this and the majority of these movies is. Because Suicide Squad is not good. But it hardly seems to matter. Guardians of the Galaxy, which was better, took in $773 million in twenty-five weeks. If it hangs around long enough, Suicide Squad might get close to that. Makes no sense, and you can bet DC/Warner wanted more, but they’ve been trying to cheat their way to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on a fast-track. It ain’t working, but strictly by the numbers, they haven’t done badly.

The last wild card is whether Don’t Breathe, last weekend’s box office champ, has a little more oxygen in the tank. Fede Alvarez’s follow-up to his remake of Evil Dead was a surprise horror hit, and has the craft to keep its edge-of-your-seat mojo going.

So, well and good, here’s the predictions (all numbers my own, completely divorced from reality):

  1. Don’t Breathe – $15 million
  2. Suicide Squad – $10 million
  3. Morgan – $8 million
  4. The Light Between Oceans – $7 million
  5. Sausage Party – $5 million

Enjoy the long weekend! Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how the weekend turns out!

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