The knives are definitely out for Suicide Squad right now, and while it's ultimately up to the fans to decide if the movie is a hit (I love my critic brethren, but it's not up to us!!), it does feel like an uphill battle. What's promising is the predicted $140M opening weekend which could crush August box office records if they pan out. But the $175M film will need a lot more than that to put Warner Bros. into the black, and that would be a lot harder without the dollars provided by a release in China.
According to THR, there's a good chance Suicide Squad won't be released in China, which would hurt the worldwide total in a huge way. It's the dark, violent material that seems to be the problem for the state-sponsored China Film Group who make the final call on which movies get the thumbs up. It's interesting because the film has a PG-13 rating and isn't really that violent. It's hard to gauge China's thinking on some of these movies. For instance, they've been more than happy to work with Marvel on their Iron Man movies, which could be considered violent. They allowed Guardians of the Galaxy in, and it made about $100M even though it's similar to Suicide Squad in that it follows a team of antiheroes. On the other hand, they refused Deadpool, which went on to be a global smash anyway, and denied the recent Ghostbusters remake because it has, shockingly, ghosts. Oh, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice somehow managed to get approved, and nobody would think it's less grim than Suicide Squad. I mean, come on.
Meanwhile, we're seeing more of the cast speaking out against the reviews (mine is fairly positive) that have driven it to 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, the same ugly number earned by 'Batman v Superman'. Already director David Ayer has put his two-cents in, but now Jay Hernandez, who had one of the breakout roles as the fiery Diablo, tells Digital Spy that all of the critics can kiss his ass. Daaaaaammmn.
"Yeah I am bothered about it, I think it sucks, obviously we worked hard and tried to give the fans what they wanted. It's weird that some of the criticism I heard was that it was 'too much like a comic book', in terms of you have these characters being objectified like Harley Quinn, there are just certain elements that are just part of being a comic book. If you're trying to portray that on a film, you have to stay true to that, because if you don't, the fans of the comics are going to be offended....I think we did it, so I think the critics can kiss my ass."
His co-stars Joel Kinnaman and Karen Fukuhara weren't quite as blunt, but perhaps they should have been. I like the attitude Hernandez and Ayer have shown in going head-on against those who have taken a great deal of pleasure piling on. Unlike Zack Snyder who just seemed to roll with the poor response to 'Batman v Superman', these guys are being forceful in standing by their film so at least fans can see they are passionate about it. I think that will help convince people to buy a ticket and judge the movie for themselves.