‘Suicide Squad’ Now Targets Record-Breaking $140 Million Opening

Warner Bros. comic book movie now aims to beat “Finding Dory” for No. 3 debut of the year

“Suicide Squad” keeps building momentum going into its debut this Friday, with tracking figures now setting its opening between $130 million and $140 million — though studio estimates are currently set on a much more conservative $125 million.

Just over a week ago, experts set its opening at roughly $115 million, which would easily break the all-time opening record for August. But then, just a few days later, prognosticators moved up their estimates to $125 million.

Now reaching for an even bigger figure, David Ayer‘s DC Comics movie is looking to beat Disney Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” which opened in June to $135 million and become the third-highest grossing opening of 2016.

But remember, reviews come out tomorrow and that could affect estimates.

If “Suicide Squad” doesn’t reach “Dory” heights, it would need to surpass Fox’s $132.4 million debut for “Deadpool” to secure its position as the fourth-highest grossing movie of the year.

Whether reviews are good or bad, the Warner Bros. movie, starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto, should have an easy time surpassing the August record set by Disney-Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which opened at $94.3 million in 2014.

Despite the sterling projections, “Suicide Squad” should still open below Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” — which bowed to nearly $180 million in early May — and also Warner Bros. previous DC Comics movie “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which opened with $166 million in domestic grosses in March.

Still, anywhere above $130 million is a huge number, particularly for a new franchise launch, and comes during a summer that’s in desperate need of bigger box office receipts.

With only a month to go until the end of the summer season, total domestic grosses are only at $3.1 billion, pacing well behind last summer’s record box office — whose final tally of $4.5 billion seems unlikely to be topped.

Another indicator of the impending success of “Suicide Squad”: The title has inspired a total of more than 2.1 million conversations on social media, according to comScore’s latest PreAct results. That puts it at No. 1, ahead of Lucasfilm’s “Rogue One,” which has a total of 965,411 conversations when counted this week.

The film revolves around DC supervillains, who are on death row for their crimes until a secret government agency called Task Force X led by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assigns them black ops missions in exchange for clemency.

“Suicide Squad” also stars Ben Affleck, Joel Kinnaman, Jay Hernandez, Jai Courtney and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.