When is a superhero movie like Game of Thrones? When it’s the most pirated movie of the year, of course. On a new list of all the movies downloaded from popular torrenting site BitTorrent, the merc with a mouth tops the chart over Batman v. Superman, Captain America: Civil War, and The Force Awakens.
The Internet Movie Database is a fount of helpful information. With a few simple clicks, users can learn who shot the Miley Cyrus vehicle So Undercover (Things to Come cinematographer Denis Lenoir), which sequel in the Hellraiser franchise featured a performance from a young Adam Scott (the fourth one), or how old Taraji P. Henson is (who looks that good at 46?!). As a repository for loose factoids from in and around the world of screen entertainment, it can’t be beat. As a source for critical perspectives on those same films, however... hoo boy. Just take a gander at any comment section for a movie’s page and marvel at the IMDb is the site where rabid anti-Ghostbusters zealots congregated to downvote Paul Feig’s movie into oblivion weeks before its actual release, and the newly-released IMDb Top 10 provides an even clearer view of its user base.
Look, all things being equal, I really didn’t mind Jared Leto’s take on the Joker in Suicide Squad. Yes, the constant news items about what latest “crazy” thing he did to get in character were pretty annoying, and yes, the number of people who seem to think that Joker and Harley Quinn’s relationship is something to emulate is downright disturbing, but Leto seemed like a perfect fit for the gloomy and angst-ridden universe that Warner Bros. has created for its DC Comics characters. At another studio, he’d be woefully out of place. In this one? He’s fine.
September has arrived and this notoriously slow month at the movies often spells instant death for new releases. It certainly meant on a dead-on-arrival start for The Light Between Oceans and it spelled total disaster for Morgan, which debuted at number 17 on the box office charts despite being released into more than 2,000 theaters. But this week isn’t all doom and gloom! This slow week gave some much-needed breathing room to a few August releases while allowing Don’t Breathe to have a strong second weekend at the box office.
There are two big stories to lead with in this edition of the Weekend Box Office Report and both of them are equally interesting in their own little ways. Let’s start with the positive: Sausage Party now inexplicably holds the record for biggest opening for an animated movie released in August. And now the negative: Suicide Squad dropped a staggering 67% in its second weekend, which…isn’t good.
Jared Leto is the second name on the poster for Suicide Squad. The only actor to get billed above him is Will Smith. Leto is listed ahead of actors like Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, and Viola Davis, who, unlike the Joker, are all actual members of the Suicide Squad. Despite Leto’s billing, though, and despite the large amount of publicity surrounding his unusual version of the character (not to mention his unusual preparations to play the role, which included sending disgusting “gifts” to his colleagues), Leto has very little screentime in the final film. He’s featured mostly in flashbacks about Robbie’s Harley Quinn and her time before she was captured by Batman. When he finally appears in the contemporary story, he shows up to “rescue” Harley, fails, and crashes in a helicopter. Then he doesn’t show up again until the very last scenes of the movie, when he tries to break her out of prison.
Despite receiving overwhelmingly negative reviews, Suicide Squad opened with record-smashing numbers, obliterating the record set by Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2014. And yet, the box office of summer 2016 has taught us one thing: anything can happen after that opening weekend and it probably will. This certainly looks like a huge victory for Warner Bros. and their DC Extended Universe right now, but who knows what next week will bring?
We’ve seen this before, and not even that long ago: Disgruntled DC fans railing against critics for negative reviews of a new film before it even hits theaters; before those fans have even seen the film for themselves. It happened with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and it’s happening again with Suicide Squad, as fans take to social media to bash critics for what they perceive to be unfair reviews based on personal bias against superhero films — or DC movies, specifically. But this time they have a petition and a misguided plan to solve this crisis in the film community.