(Warning: The following contains major plot SPOILERS for the recently released Suicide Squad, as well as speculative ones relating to its potential sequel, and other future DCEU projects. Proceed with whatever level of caution the explosive control-chip in your neck allows…)
Now, in the immediate wake of Suicide Squad‘s gargantuan opening weekend haul – – it seemed as though nothing could stop the DCEU’s ragtag team of villains from returning to the screen in the near future. After all, Warner Bros. needed the movie to be a hit, and it was – what more could you ask for when considering commissioning a sequel?
The only problem? The movie promptly suffered a huge 67.3% drop in its second weekend’s box office, with only $43.7 million in takings against relatively weak opposition. Now, that was enough to keep it in the number one spot – and the film looks increasingly likely to turn a solid profit – but the severe drop-off in earnings does raise a fairly pressing question:
Will We Actually Get To See A Suicide Squad Sequel?
After all, there’s certainly an argument to be made that the drop-off in Suicide Squad ticket sales is directly related to the film’s firmly negative critical reception, and the distinctly mixed response from fans that arrived alongside it. In other words, it’s possible that Suicide Squad – despite its success – is set to under-perform, and perhaps to be remembered less fondly than its initial box office performance would suggest.
Want more on Suicide Squad‘s box office performance – and future? Check out:
Now, Suicide Squad‘s critical kicking and box-office drop-off aren’t likely to be deal-breakers for Warner Bros. – it seems more probable that the company will take the film’s finite financial success as a prompt for tweaking of the franchise, rather than wholesale abandonment – but they could yet pave the way for a surprising twist in the tale. Y’see…
There’s A Surprisingly Solid Chance That Suicide Squad 2 Could Never Happen
The reason for that, though, doesn’t actually have all that much to do with Suicide Squad’s earnings at all. Instead, it’s possible that we’ll see something a little unusual – the franchise being stripped for parts, and spun off into several new movie series’ – because of the film’s critical reception, and the response of its fans.
If, for instance, senior folk at Warner Bros. ultimately conclude that fans flocked to Suicide Squad‘s opening weekend because of the presence of Jared Leto’s Joker, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, and Will Smith’s Deadshot, but then stayed away because they didn’t fully embrace the movie’s tone or premise, then it’s not impossible to imagine a scenario in which those three characters find themselves spun off into their own projects, while the ‘Squad itself gets left behind.
There Are Already Several Spin-Offs On The Horizon
With a Margot Robbie-championed Harley Quinn movie now widely expected in a few years time, and The Joker sure to play a major part in both it and Ben Affleck’s forthcoming Batman solo movie, it seems entirely possible that the killer clowns won’t be available to appear in major roles in a Suicide Squad sequel – and that the film’s ending was less a teaser, and more a permanent departure from the franchise.
Meanwhile, the likes of Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang could well turn up in that aforementioned Batman solo film and The Flash, respectively – and Katana is widely tipped to appear in Robbie’s Harley Quinn project. Were Will Smith’s widely-lauded performance to earn Deadshot the lead-villain slot in a future project – or even his own solo movie – then there’d be relatively little holding the ‘Squad together beyond Rick Flag and The Enchantress’ largely sidelined romance and Amanda Waller’s machinations (that could easily transfer into another movie). In other words?
We Could See Most Of The Suicide Squad Cast Switch Into Other Franchises
A move that – while risky – could well offer Warner Bros. a way to ‘bottle’ the elements that led to Suicide Squad‘s huge opening weekend and intense popularity among parts of the DC fanbase – The Joker, Harley Quinn, Deadshot – before pouring the contents into several other franchises. That in turn would provide a firebreak between the potentially contagious critical savaging of Suicide Squad and future projects – spin-offs would be less likely to be judged in Suicide Squad‘s critical context than sequels – while allowing Warner Bros. to play the whole thing off as a cunning master-plan… and to make a whole lot of money in the process.
Heck, Marvel even pulled something similar with the Hulk, after The Incredible Hulk disappointed at the box office, turning him into the scene-stealing star of The Avengers and – next year – Thor: Raganarok, rather than persisting with a solo franchise that many fans weren’t fond of.
Is That Likely To Happen To Suicide Squad, Though?
Well, on the face of it, not really. The most likely outcome here remains Suicide Squad2 hitting theaters in 2019 or so, with much of its original cast in tact, and perhaps even The Joker as the lead protagonist. Were Warner Bros. inclined to think outside the box a little, though, then who knows what we could see happen?
After all, the very existence of Suicide Squad was a shock to many commentators – especially while the DCEU is only beginning to find its feet – so what’s to say it couldn’t continue surprising us all now? Where Marvel slowly built a combined universe, before bringing its heroes together in giant showpieces likes The Avengers and Captain America: Civil War, could DC instead opt to throw everyone into its first few movies, and then allow the characters that grab fans’ attention to break off on their own?
And, if so, has Suicide Squad already teased some of what could come next?
What do you reckon?
Staff Writer, Superheroes, Star Wars and such. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1