Suicide Numbers Plummet; Sausage Parties
By John Hamann
August 14, 2016
I hate to say I told you so, but Suicide Squad fell 67% in its second weekend, much like Batman v Superman’s 69% drop. What do these films have in common? They both suck for the non-fanboy.
Following a weekend where the very poorly reviewed Suicide Squad and Nine Lives stunk the place up, Hollywood gives us three new films this weekend with glowing reviews. The first, Sausage Party from Seth Rogen, is an R-rated, vulgarity-filled animated comedy, which at first glance you would assume critics would hate. Oddly enough, Sausage Party is certified fresh at RottenTomatoes, and carried a ton of buzz into its opening frame. For the younger set is Pete’s Dragon, another re-imagining of a beloved Disney film. This one was done smartly, with the budget kept down at $65 million, and an excellent product issued. Our last opener is Florence Foster Jenkins, as Meryl Streep looks for another Oscar nomination from an August release. Unfortunately, the box office result was more Ricki and the Flash than The Devil Wears Prada.
Our number one film of the weekend is Suicide Squad, but this weekend’s race for number one wasn’t even supposed to be close. Suicide Squad was supposed to win the weekend by $15 million plus; instead, the Warner Bros./DC Comic release lost to animated sausages on Friday and didn’t recover much over the rest of the frame. On Friday, Suicide Squad earned $13.35 million, off almost 80% from the opening Friday gross of $64.9 million. Yes, last Friday’s number included Thursday preview amounts, but as BOP’s Tim Briody pointed out yesterday, if one removes the Thursday preview amounts, the Friday-to-Friday drop is still 70%. That is a collapse unlike anything we’ve seen since… well, Batman v Superman, which had an 81.6% Friday-to-Friday drop. Same audience, same box office behavior, same brand. Not good news for DC Comics.
Over the weekend, Suicide Squad earned $43.8 million, off a nightmarish 67% compared to its opening weekend. While it doesn’t reach Batman v Superman’s epic 69% drop, it does indicate that despite having the 20th biggest opening weekend, Suicide Squad will likely not reach $300 million domestic and will struggle to double its opening weekend gross at the domestic box office. I am not saying Suicide Squad won’t be profitable – it cost $175 million so it needs a likely half-billion plus worldwide, a number it will have no trouble reaching. The problem that DC and Warner Bros. have is the stink of failure on their manufactured franchise - again. Suicide Squad has a domestic gross to date of $222.9 million and will likely finish around $280 million. Overseas, it has earned $242.5 million, which means Suicide Squad has a worldwide total of $465.4 million.
Sausage Party breaks out, as Seth Rogen has a winner with the animated comedy for adults, which is much more South Park than Finding Dory. The breakout was signaled on Thursday night, when Sausage Party earned $3 million (oddly, after the Thursday gross was announced, Variety was still calling for a $15 million weekend). That was about double my expectations, and indicated the breakout was coming. The combined Thursday/Friday came in at a wild $13.5 million and now Sony has a hit on its hands. The thing to remember about Sausage Party is that it cost only $19 million to make, a number it had earned by Saturday night.