The Suicide Squad was the second-most viewed day-and-date film premiere during its first day on the HBO Max streaming service, according to chief executive Andy Forssell. The executive's statement comes as The Suicide Squad earned below expectations in its box office opening weekend. The film had the biggest opening of any R-rated movie released during the pandemic, grossing $26.5 million. However, that's still the lowest opening of any installment in Warner Bros.' Harley Quinn trilogy (the prior two being Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey). The Suicide Squad is opening when COVID-19 cases are back on the rise due to the delta variant.
"As the country faces new challenges due to the COVID variant, we're happy to continue to offer fans the option of viewing movies in their homes," Forssell says (via The Hollywood Reporter). "Many chose to do just that as Suicide Squad emerged as the second most viewed film over an opening weekend on HBO Max since we began day-and-date releases with theaters."
Though HBO Max hasn't released firm numbers, reports suggest that this year's Mortal Kombat reboot movie remains the most viewed HBO Max day-and-date debut on its day one. That tracks with Mortal Kombat's trailer topping The Suicide Squad's as most-watched R-rated trailer ever. Wonder Woman 1984 was once the top HBO Max debut in first-day streams when it debuted in December 2020. Godzilla vs. Kong topped it earlier this year before losing that position to Mortal Kombat.
The Suicide Squad is James Gunn's sort-of-sequel, sort-of-reboot of Task Force X in the DC Extended Universe. Margot Robbie returns as Harley Quinn, with Viola Davis as Amanda Waller and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag. Otherwise, the film is primarily characters making their cinematic debuts, including Idris Elba as Bloodsport, John Cena as Peacemaker, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, and Peter Capaldi as The Thinker.
Gunn has come to do with the DC Extended Universe. He's heading up the Peacemaker spinoff of The Suicide Squad, starring John Cena, for HBO Max. He also may be involved in future DC "villain-verse" projects.
While The Suicide Squad had the lowest opening of any of DC's Harley Quinn movies, it is scoring significantly better with critics. Gunn's film boasts a Rotten Tomatoes score in the 90s, and ComicBook.com's Jenna Anderson gave the movie a full five stars in her review.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. The Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.