August 4 2016

Suicide Squad problems may have started behind the scenes

According to a new report, the issues with Suicide Squad pretty much started from day one.

After the barrage of negative reviews for Suicide Squad hit, the finger pointing is starting before the film even is out to the audiences. An in-depth report from The Hollywood Reporter indicates that the issues pretty much reside squarely on the shoulders of the studio itself.

Suicide Squad was announced with its Aug. 5 release date in Oct. 2014, meaning the film was less than two years out. What wasn’t known at the time was that there wasn’t even a script in the can yet. Director David Ayer had six weeks to put one together and hit the ground running. Moving the film’s release date back was never even an option due to promotional plans that were already in place with companies such as Samsung.

While work moved ahead, and things were looking okay, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice came out to horrible reviews and tepid box office results, and that was when things really fell apart. “(Warner Chief) Kevin (Tsujihara) was really pissed about damage to the brand,” said one executive.

At that time the executives started to get concerned that the tone of the film did not match the first “Bohemian Rhapsody” trailer that seemed fun and like a good time.

At this point Ayer continued to work on his cut of the film, and Warner Brothers brought in Trailer Park – the company that cut the trailer – to work on a different cut. The studio, with Ayer’s blessing, test screened both cuts in Northern California. “When you have big tentpoles and time pressure, you pull in resources from every which way you can,” said the source. “You can’t do it the way it used to be, with one editor and one assistant editor.”

After the versions screened a common-ground was found and the studio-favored version was the winner, but not completely. A mix of the versions were needed and multiple editors were brought in to put it together.

At this point things started to really go haywire as Ayer fired his agent, and then rehired him a day later. A new cut of the film was readied and the audience reaction swung more to the positive.

You would think this would end the story, but it doesn’t. Suicide Squad had a $175M budget. Normally this would mean a $350M target to hit profit, but that isn’t even close. Another source added to the report, “The movie’s got to do $750 million, $800 million to break even. If they get anywhere close to that, they’ll consider it a win.”

Tracking is showing a $150M plus opening weekend, which is great, but will it keep its legs in the coming weeks? Only time will tell. And how will it do overseas? This is going to be a bumpy ride, folks.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter .

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