Okay, the good news is that Suicide Squad is tracking well and is projected to open at over $140 million. The bad news is that bad word of mouth will travel fast as critics (you can read our review here) have widely panned the movie, while those who have worked on the new film or on other DCEU projects have come to defend it. So while it may see a huge drop off in the next few weeks, Suicide Squad can make up for that loss overseas. China plays a huge part in the overseas box office, often bringing a film from the brink of death to live on to see a sequel. However, a film can also experience a huge loss in the international box office if it doesn’t get that opening in China, and that might happen to Suicide Squad.
More on the story below.
Variety and THR say Suicide Squad‘s level of violence and dark tones might prevent China’s film censors from releasing the film there theatrically. To make things worse, no release date has been set either, making it less likely that the world’s second-biggest movie market will see the third installment of the DCEU. Of course Chinese fans were hoping that the favorable PG-13 rating would get passed their country’s censors, but when a word like “Suicide” is prominently in the title, it’s going to make them less likely to approve it for release. When that is the case, studios will offer alternate titles, just like Sony tried to appeal to China’s censors to get them to release Ghostbusters. One of WB’s alternate titles for Suicide Squad was “X特遣队,” which translates into “Special Task Force X.” In the comics, Task Force X was also known as Suicide Squad, and that is even addressed in the movie itself. So it’s a bit hard to believe that China would not accept the film as is even with the dark tone and level of violence.
China may not have a rating system like most other countries do, but their “State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) makes a judgment on all film imports, approving or banning them for consumption by Chinese viewers of all ages.” So if your kids complain about why they can’t see R-rated film, just tell them, “Just be glad you don’t live in China.”
Back on topic, Suicide Squad is tracking well here and in other overseas countries as well. It had an $8 million opening overseas, with the Korean box office leading the charge with $2.9 million on 732 screens. So while not getting released in China may hurt the film, it may not kill it completely. We’ll just have to see how it will perform in the coming months.
[Source: Variety | THR]