Suicide Squad rocks the box office

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad.

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad.

Suicide Squad rocked the Friday box office, grossing $65.1 million for a projected $145 million-$150 million weekend, the top opening of all time for an August release and ending days of angst for Warner Bros. in the wake of withering reviews.

The David Ayer-directed supervillain film is also impressing overseas, where it has amassed $64.6 million in its first three days. And, as in North America, the $175 million tentpole is pacing ahead of the openings of Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie is opening in a total of 57 markets this weekend; Friday’s take was $33 million, including $6.2 million in the U.K. and $3.9 million in Mexico.

However, the movie’s ultimate playability is still in question after receiving a B+ CinemaScore from North American audiences. While it’s better than the B awarded to fellow DC Extended Universe title Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice earlier this year, a superhero movie can have much better legs when receiving some variation of an A score. Suicide Squad cost $175 million to produce.

The biggest surprise in terms of audience makeup was the strong turnout among females, who made up 46 percent of Friday’s audience, according to exit poling service CinemaScore. That’s unusual for a superhero film. Warners also succeeded in luring younger moviegoers; 28 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 18. Both females and those younger moviegoers liked the better, giving it an A- and A, respectively.

Friday’s haul includes a huge $20.5 million in Thursday-night previews. Imax locations took in a hearty $2.4 million, or 12 percent.

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