Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe (DCEU) got off to a shaky start this spring with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was universally panned by critics (27% on Rotten Tomatoes), but still put up decent numbers at the box office ($872.6 million worldwide). While many fans, and the studio itself, had higher hopes for Suicide Squad, it’s in roughly the same boat as its predecessor, with an identical 27% rating on RT and a $465.3 million worldwide take after just two weeks in theaters. Today we have word that one of the film’s stars is speaking out against the negative reviews.
Vulture caught up with Joel Kinnaman, who plays Rick Flagg in Suicide Squad and stars in the new indie thriller Edge of Winter, which debuted in limited release this weekend. The actor was asked if he read any of the reviews, with the actor revealing that he can’t remember seeing a “bigger disparity” between the reviews and the fans’ reactions. The movie received a B+ on CinemaScore, slightly higher than Batman v Superman’s B score. Here’s what the actor had to say when asked if he read any of the reviews, but he thinks the critical drubbing might actually be good for the movie, since it lowers expectations.
“I read a couple, but I didn’t enjoy reading them, so I stopped. They were not kind. You always hope to get good reviews. It’s always nicer when people say nice things about you. But on a film like Suicide Squad, it really only has an ambition to entertain. There’s no big political aspirations about the film; it doesn’t take itself that seriously. The only way it takes itself seriously is portraying these characters in an honest way. I really think we did that, and I’m proud of my work and everyone else’s work in that film, too. So, on a film like this, that has those kinds of ambitions; it becomes even more important what the fans think. We made this film for the fans. I can’t remember ever seeing a bigger disparity between reviewers’ and fans’ response to a film. It really was night and day. We’ve just been showered with love and appreciation for this, so it’s been pretty phenomenal. Sure, the film is not perfect. But the kind of vitriol that it got? [Laughs.] It sure as hell didn’t deserve that. I think it actually might’ve been good for the film. Now people don’t have too-high expectations for it. It reset that a little bit, and people went into the theaters and just got entertained by what they saw. So I was really happy with how that whole thing turned out.”
The actor says was happy with how the fans responded after the movie critics chimed in. The film has currently earned $224.8 million domestically and $465.3 million worldwide from a massive $175 million budget. While the super villain ensemble did come out on top for the second weekend in a row, it dropped a massive 67.3%, just slightly better than the huge 69.1% drop suffered by Batman v Superman this spring.
Even before the movie was released, there was talk of Suicide Squad 2, which may even be R-rated. Warner Bros. has yet to confirm whether or not this sequel will happen, but there have been rumors that the studio wants director David Ayer to start shooting in early 2017. Given the critical response, we’re not if the studio is still willing to move forward on the sequel. We’ll be sure to keep you posted with more updates on Suicide Squad 2 and the box office performance of Suicide Squad in the weeks and months ahead.