The month of August always signifies that the summer movie season is winding down, as kids across the country start getting ready to go back to school. Two years ago, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy kicked off the month with a record-breaking box office opening weekend of $94.3 million, en route to $333.1 million domestic and $773.1 million worldwide, the highest ever for a movie opening in August. If the projections and predictions for this weekend's massive comic book adaptation Suicide Squad turn out to be true, that record will be shattered this weekend with what we're predicting is an opening weekend gross of $145.6 million.
Box Office Mojo reports that Warner Bros. is releasing Suicide Squad in approximately 4,150 theaters, with The Weinstein Company's Nine Lives also opening in wide release although there is no theater count estimation quite yet. The estimated 4,150-theater rollout for Suicide Squad is fairly close to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's 4,242-theater debut back in March, which kicked off the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). While full reviews won't arrive online until later today, early reactions were quite positive for Suicide Squad.
If it does hit this projection, Suicide Squad will have the third-highest opening weekend this year, below Marvel's Captain America: Civil War ($179.1 million) and Warner Bros./DC's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million). Disney Pixar's Finding Dory currently has the third best opening weekend this year with $135 million, though it is the highest-grossing domestic release this year so far, with $469.1 million, and the R-rated Deadpool lands in the fourth highest debut spot with $132.4 million. We're predicting that the top 5 will be rounded out by Jason Bourne ($30.1 million), Star Trek Beyond ($14.2 million) Nine Lives ($13.1 million) and Bad Moms ($12.4 million).
In Suicide Squad, when Midway City is threatened by a powerful mystical enemy, Amanda Waller's plan to unite the baddest of the bad gets the go-ahead. She cuts deals with a whole squad of prisoners: Deadshot (Will Smith) gets his Second Amendment rights reinstated, Harley (Margot Robbie) is set free from her cage, Diablo (Jay Hernandez) steps out of his fireproof prison, Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Slipknot (Adam Beach) each get to wield their signature weapons once more, and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) emerges from the swamp. The only condition is this: Obey orders or die. This is strictly enforced by squad leader Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), the samurai Katana (Karen Fukuhara), and of course the explosive devices - developed by Wayne Enterprises - inserted into their necks. However, the arrival of the tatted-up Gotham City mega-criminal, the Joker (Jared Leto), might doom the mission thanks to his plan to reunite with his true love, Harley.
Nine Lives follows Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) as a daredevil billionaire at the top of his game. His eponymous company FireBrand is nearing completion on its greatest achievement to date - the tallest skyscraper in the northern hemisphere. But Tom's workaholic lifestyle has disconnected him from his family, particularly his beautiful wife Lara (Jennifer Garner) and his adoring daughter Rebecca (Malina Weissman). Rebecca's 11th birthday is here, and she wants the gift she wants every year, a cat. Tom hates cats, but he is without a gift and time is running out. His GPS directs him to a mystical pet store brimming with odd and exotic cats- where the store's eccentric owner- Felix Perkins (Christopher Walken), presents him with a majestic tomcat, named Mr. Fuzzypants.
En route to his daughter's party, Tom has a terrible accident. When he regains consciousness he discovers that somehow, he has become trapped inside the body of the cat. Adopted by his own family, he begins to experience what life is truly like for the family pet, and as a cat, Tom begins to see his family and his life through a new and unexpected perspective. Meanwhile, his family adjusts to life with an odd and stubborn cat, and his son David (Robbie Amell), steps up in ways Tom never expected. If any hope exists of returning to his family as the husband and father they deserve, Tom will have to learn why he has been placed in this peculiar situation and the great lengths he must go to earn back his human existence.
The top 10 will be rounded out by The Secret Life of Pets ($10.1 million), Lights Out ($7.3 million), Ice Age: Collision Course ($5.2 million), Ghostbusters $4.7 million and Nerve ($4.5 million). Originally, there was supposed to be another high-profile movie opening this weekend, The Weinstein Company's The Founder, starring Michael Keaton as McDonald's founder Ray A. Kroc. However, the studio recently pushed the movie into awards contention with an Oscar qualifying run starting December 16 and a nationwide expansion January 20, 2017. Also opening in limited release this weekend is Independent's The Brooklyn Baker, Citizen Soldier and The Remains, Rialto's Elevator to the Gallows, FilmRise's Five Nights in Maine, Strand's Front Cover, Magnolia's Little Men and Janus Films' Multiple Maniacs.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three new movies square off in what could be the most bizarre box office showdown of the year. The R-rated animated comedy Sausage Party squares off against Disney's family adventure Pete's Dragon and Paramount's inspirational drama Florence Foster Jenkins in wide release. Also arriving in limited release is Bleecker Street's Anthropoid, Independent's Beyond Valkyrie: Dawn of the Fourth Reich and Edge of Winter, The Orchard's Ghost Team, GVN Releasing's The Fight Within, Lionsgate's Hell or High Water, Brainstorm Media's The Model, CJ Entertainment's Operation Chromite, Film Movement's My King and Abramorama's The Girl of the Golden West. Check back on Sunday for the box office estimates and again one week from today for next week's predictions. Until then, check out our projected top 10 for the weekend of August 5.