The newly released superhero (or supervillain, to be precise) movie Suicide Squad has already outgrossed the feminist-friendly remake of Ghostbusters in its first weekend, despite Ghostbusters now being released almost a month ago.
The movie grossed a staggering $135,105,000 in its first weekend domestically, compared to total Ghostbusters’ $116,711,936 current total domestic gross. In contrast to Ghostbusters, Suicide Squad was also slammed by critics, who accused it of having “sexist” and “pro-gun” overtones.
This makes the film the biggest ever August box office opening, pushing 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy into second place at $94,000,000.
This is despite the film receiving extremely harsh reviews from critics, with the movie being branded as “squalid sexism masquerading as anarchy,” “hideously timed gun worship,” as well as the “Donald Trump of superhero movies.”
Accusations that the film has anti-feminist and right-wing overtones is in stark contrast to what was said about Ghosbusters, which was praised by critics for its overt feminist and progressive themes.
As with Ghostbusters here has been a stark divide between the opinions of critics and the opinions of moviegoers. Rotten Tomatoes‘ critics gave the film a measly 26%, whilst audiences gave it a far more favourable approval rating of 72%. Metacritic meanwhile gave the film 40% with audiences giving it 6.8/10.
And the critics are already throwing their toys out of the pram. “Suicide Squad Sets Box Office Record, Because We Don’t Deserve Better Movies” huffed Gawker’s Gizmodo blog, which also branded the film “misogynist bullsh**.”
Slate, meanwhile, went after the movie’s Joker-and-Harly-Quinn-themed merchandise: “nothing says #relationshipgoals like the tortured pas de deux between a deeply troubled woman and her abuser.”
Despite allegations of sexism, the film performed exceptionally well amongst women. As The Hollywood Reporter reveals: “The biggest surprise in terms of audience makeup was the strong turnout among females, who made up 46 percent of Friday’s audience, according to exit poling service CinemaScore. That’s unusual for a superhero film.”
“Warners also succeeded in luring younger moviegoers: 28 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 18. Both females and those younger moviegoers liked the pic better, giving it an A- and A, respectively,” it continued.