……Here’s why, maybe:
Let’s start with what’s NOT to blame. That is the quality of the film. Its near universal acclaim speaks volumes about the James Gunn vision. This is a fun movie, unfettered by silly politics, relishing its own comic book credentials and blessed by an infectious sense of joyous imagination. It’s got edge, too (gory, bloody, even and not a ‘family’ film) without being too dark or dour or depressing. Great cast. Talented crew. Deserves to hit, bigly.
So if it DOES (nb that is not a done deal) fail to top box office charts or break records? Here’s why..
- People are still cautious about going out, let alone to the movies.
- Once upon a time? A medium to respectable sized performance would have been fine for any popular film. Now? Given budgets and the myth that comic book property must = record breaker hit or flop? It’s not enough to be a solid entry in a genre or to exhibit original vision. Shame. Years ago, a $25 million opening would have been something to celebrate rather than mourn.
- Many viewers were turned off by 2016’s SUICIDE SQUAD. They might, not unreasonably, assume this to be a sequel and decide it’s one to miss.
- Bad release slot. There is no such thing anymore as a ‘summer blockbuster’: what was once peak time (August) is now something of a graveyard shift. This shoulda come out earlier or later.
- Cinema itself is on the wane as a power base. Its influence, culturally, has been declining, considerably. And that’s across the board, in multiple genres and formats. There is not just comic book movie fatigue. There’s movie fatigue, full stop. It explains why so many movie makers are clinging to political motifs as they perhaps see it as a survival tactic.
- It’s not Batman, Superman, Iron Man etc. This is an obscure property with an anarchic take. It’s not to everyone’s taste!
In short: unfair to call this a flop. It should make its money back and even turn respectable profit over time. But I would keep expectations relatively low here to avoid disappointment. The Suicide Squad is unlikely to break the billion dollar mark but is all the better for that imho.