If you're like me, or anyone else living in America, you've been waiting for Suicide Squad to come out since last July, when the first trailer
dropped leaked. While there's been maybe a little too much promo over the past 12 months, a simple search for #SuicideSquad on Twitter would show nothing but thirsty anticipation. Well, at least until the early reviews of Suicide Squad came out yesterday, painting a frightening picture of the anti-hero action flick that director/writer David Ayer built. One review called it "worse than Fantastic Four;" at the time of this writing, Suicide Squad's sitting at a horrific 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Ignore that number though—the one to pay attention to is the "want to see" user rating, which right now is still sitting 99%. Then there's another number: $140 million, the amount Suicide Squad is projected to make this weekend.
While Batman v Superman didn't end up cracking the $1 billion mark that Warner may have wanted, it did end up making $422.5 million worldwide on its opening weekend, the second largest for Warner Bros. ever. The movie made bank (even if the second weekend box office numbers shot down 69%) despite critics calling it movie "very muddled" and even a "total drag." The millions who flocked to see the movie either didn't read reviews or didn't care about them. What ended up mattering more was Batfleck, in his first movie, was going toe to toe with Superman, the introduction of Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, and the rebirth of the DC Cinematic Universe.
In that same regard, Suicide Squad has a lot going for it. For starters, there's Margot Robbie as cult favorite Harley Quinn. The promos prove that she's nailed Quinn's madcap, sadistic humor, and for the bros who are just looking for some T&A, her outfit will be a dream. Jared Leto's going meta-method with his portrayal of The Joker, and you'd imagine that many moviegoers copped their tickets just off of him being cast in that role alone. Will Smith is an established part of the summer blockbuster season, no matter what his career's trajectory would tell you, and it sounds like his portrayal of Deadshot is an integral part of this film. And not for nothing, Viola Davis is getting all kinds of praise as Amanda Waller, the one who brings the squad together.
Furthermore, while DC never outright said it, one would have to imagine that Suicide Squad wants to be DC's Deadpool (minus the hard R rating, that is). While Marvel's established just how great they are at building a Cinematic Universe, they're doing it while remaining PG. To quote Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld, "this year is going to show, more than ever, that the product has to change." Even if Suicide Squad is PG-13, you can't have a film with a crazy woman with a Louisville slugger, a cannibalistic human crocodile, and The Joker and not have it appeal to the bloodthirsty comic book-loving moviegoers. During a summer movie season that's been extremely lukewarm, the fans of violent, sarcastic fantasy action films need their fix, and Suicide Squad probably has enough juice in the tank to keep them interested. It worked for Deadpool, right?
Ultimately, the fans don't care. Their allegiances have already been won, and they don't appear to be vulnerable. Many of these fans are actually striking back at the media with a this Change.org petition to shut down Rotten Tomatoes. It's already clocked in over 11,000 signatures. The petition, which was started by someone named Abdullah Coldwater, says that the critics on Rotten Tomatoes "always give The DC Extended Universe movies unjust Bad Reviews," and "that Affects people's opinion even if it's a really great movies." Bad grammar aside, this is how a number of DC fans feel; in a world where Marvel's Cinematic Universe has both garnered critical acclaim and murdered the box office, those on DC's side are so committed that they're willing to perpetuate conspiracy theories. People who ride for Suicide Squad are out there, and they're making their voices heard (and opening their wallets).
I'm at the point w/critics where I would be worried if Suicide Squad got High ratings. MoS and BvS are 20 and 50? Should love SS then lol— Coby (@slcmof) August 3, 2016
i'm not going to read any reviews for suicide squad and even if it's shit i'll still love it don't try to convince me otherwise— yassin (@yassxiv_) August 3, 2016
While DC's fighting an uphill battle to match what Marvel's built since 2008's Iron Man, you can't count DC fans out. They want to see DC win, or at the very least want to see how they build out their own universe. Suicide Squad is an important cog in the wheel of DC's machine. It'll put a hurting on the box office, no matter how many mean things people say about it.