THE SUICIDE SQUAD Blunders at the Box Office Due to Excessive Foul Language and Violence
By Movieguide® Staff
After a string of solid performances from summer blockbusters A QUIET PLACE PART II, F9, and BLACK WIDOW, it appeared that the box office’s pulse had returned. However, recent debuts have failed to continue that trend.
The R-rated DC comic book movie, THE SUICIDE SQUAD, opened to $26.5 million in its first three days. While many news outlets and theaters owners noted that the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus could have had a significant part to play in the empty seats, the comic book movie’s failure at the box office could also have to do with its reliance on excessive foul language and gratuitous violence; which were not present in the post-pandemic record-holders.
THE SUICIDE SQUAD is an attempted reboot of a 2016 DC Comics movie from Warner Brothers.
The first part of THE SUICIDE SQUAD displays a lot of brutal, bloody fighting along with the movie’s ever present obscene language. However, by the time the second half rolls around, the script has inserted a softer side into some of the characters. As a result, the movie becomes more interesting, more fun, more heroic, and more redemptive. The violence is still very strong, but not quite as brutal. Sadly, though, the foul language and “f” words never go away. So, MOVIEGUIDE® deems THE SUICIDE SQUAD excessive and unacceptable.
As Movieguide® has researched and stated previously, immoral content costs movies viewership and money.
CNBC agrees when it comes to SUICIDE SQUAD, writing: “There’s also the film’s ‘R’ rating, which would have kept a portion of younger viewers away from theaters. These audiences would be able to watch the film on HBO Max without parental consent. The first film was rated PG-13.”
The unique entertainment landscape caused by the worldwide pandemic has proven that movies with family-friendly elements, and redemptive and uplifting messages, cater to a broader audience and earn more at the box office.
In a recent report from Variety, the headline read: “Box Office: ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Beats ‘Black Widow’ in Surprise Victory.”
However, here at Movieguide®, the box office numbers are no surprise. While critics’ scores did not reflect the movie’s achievement, fans attended 3,965 theaters across North America, proving that family-friendly content wins.
“This weekend is a positive indication that the family audience is alive, well and, according to ‘Space Jam 2’s’ enthusiastic audience scores, still thrilled by the big screen,” David A. Gross, head of the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, said.