‘Suicide Squad’ sets August opening record with $135.1M

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NEW YORK — The supervillain romp “Suicide Squad” shrugged off scathing reviews to open with an estimated $135.1 million in North American ticket sales, scoring one of the year’s biggest box-office debuts.

The Warner Bros. film, directed by David Ayer, had increased pressure on its performance following the studio’s previous poorly received DC Comics film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” But “Suicide Squad” proved a massive draw despite its much-derided lead-in. It set a new record for an August opening, besting Marvel’s 2014 hit “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Not everything was roses for “Suicide Squad,” though. After fans flocked theaters on Thursday night and Friday, audiences dropped steeply on Saturday. That could forecast further sharp declines in coming weeks for the $175 million film, which also came with a massive marketing budget.