Peacemaker: Season 1

STREAMING REVIEW:

HBO Max;
Action;
Not rated.
Stars John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Chukwudi Iwuji, Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee, Robert Patrick, Annie Chang, Lochlyn Munro.

Writer-director James Gunn’s talent for blending obscure comic book references with subversive humor and strong character dynamics is on full display in “Peacemaker,” a fantastic series that pulls no punches when it comes to deconstructing its source material.  

Spinning off from the end credits scene of The Suicide Squad, “Peacemaker” focuses on the title character played by John Cena, an expert marksman who promises to kill anyone who stands in the way of peace. However, his recovery from the events of The Suicide Squad have led him to re-evaluate his vow just as he’s recruited for a new mission that will put it to the test.

For his new assignment, Peacemaker joins a team tasked with assassinating a U.S. senator who may be under the control of aliens known as Butterflies. He also finds his confidence shaken by the lack of approval of his father (Robert Patrick), a massive racist who blames him for the death of his brother when they were just kids.

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The eight-episode series mixes characters established in The Suicide Squad with some memorable new additions, most notably Vigilante (Freddie Stroma), a cold-blooded killer who idolizes Peacemaker, and Eagly, Peacemaker’s pet bald eagle.

“Peacemaker” is filled with Gunn trademarks, such as dialogue that steers into mundane yet hilarious topics, and a soundtrack of killer tunes, including the iconic opening credits dance sequence set to Wig Wam’s “Do You Wanna Taste It.”

The show’s harsh language and graphic violence make it strictly for adult viewers, with a tone akin to “The Boys” in that it steers fully into exploring the psychological flaws of its protagonists, who are not exactly paragons of society.

The central plot even steers into questions about justice and free will that make it ripe for philosophical and political analysis as it heads into a second season.

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‘The Suicide Squad’ Tops Disc Sales Charts for Second Week

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s The Suicide Squad was again No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended No. 6.

It’s the second-consecutive week in the top disc sales spots for the James Gunn-directed DC Comics adaptation about a team of supervillains who are extorted by a U.S. government agency into conducting dangerous covert operations.

The top newcomer, at No. 2 overall and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart, was Paramount’s Paw Patrol: The Movie, the big-screen version of the popular Nickelodeon animated series. It sold about 70% as many discs in its first week as Squad did in its second, with Blu-ray Disc accounting for about 37% of its total sales.

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The No. 3 overall disc seller and No. 2 Blu-ray was Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy in its fourth week on shelves.

Rounding out the top five on both charts were Paramount’s Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (No. 4 overall, No. 5 Blu-ray) and Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga (No. 5 overall, No. 4 Blu-ray).

Other notable newcomers in the top 20 include Decal’s Pig at No. 9 overall (No. 11 on the Blu-ray chart), and Sony Pictures’ The Crown: The Complete Fourth Season at No. 20 overall (with just 18% of its sales tally coming from Blu-ray it didn’t crack the list of top 30 Blu-rays).

Pig is an acclaimed drama that stars Nicolas Cage as a reclusive former chef who returns to the city to search for his prized truffle-hunting pig after it is stolen. It earned $3.2 million at the domestic box office.

Season four of “The Crown” is the latest installment of the Emmy-winning Netflix series about Queen Elizabeth II and the British royal family.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Nov. 7 was led by Free Guy, with Universal’s Stillwater at No. 2, both up two spots from the previous week.

The previous week’s top rental, Sony Pictures’ Don’t Breathe 2, slipped to No. 3, followed by The Suicide Squad at No. 4, and Universal’s M. Night Shyamalan thriller Old maintaining the No. 5 spot.

Paw Patrol: The Movie debuted as the No. 7 rental.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 11-6-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 11-7-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 11-6-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 11-6-21
Sales Report for Week Ended 11-6-21
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 11-8-21

‘The Suicide Squad’ Easily Tops Disc Sales Charts

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s The Suicide Squad debuted at No. 1 on the DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales charts by a wide margin the week ended Oct. 30.

The superhero sequel from director James Gunn is based on the DC Comics team of supervillains who are extorted into performing dangerous covert missions for the U.S. government. A sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, it is the 10th movie in the DC Extended Universe, and earned $55.8 million at the domestic box office. A spinoff focused on John Cena’s Peacemaker character from the film is set to debut on the HBO Max streaming service in 2022.

The top title the previous two weeks, Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy, dropped to No. 2 on both the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart. In its third week, Free Guy sold about one-third as many copies as the newly released The Suicide Squad.

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Two other newcomers also cracked the top 10.

No. 4 on both charts was Sony Pictures’ horror film Don’t Breathe 2. The sequel to the 2016 original features the return of Stephen Lang as Norman, whose attempts at a quiet life in an isolated cabin is shattered when criminals kidnap his adopted daughter. It earned $32.6 million at the domestic box office.

No. 9 on the overall disc sales chart and No. 11 on the Blu-ray chart was Universal Pictures’ Stillwater, a drama starring Matt Damon as an Oklahoma oil worker who moves to France while searching for evidence to exonerate his daughter, who is serving time in prison for murder. It earned $14.5 million at U.S. theaters.

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No. 3 on both charts, down a spot from the previous week, was Paramount’s Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. The No. 5 overall title (No. 17 on the Blu-ray chart) was Disney’s 1993 spooky family comedy Hocus Pocus, for which a Disney+ sequel is now in production.

The No. 5 Blu-ray (8 on the overall chart), was Warner’s direct-to-video animated superhero movie Injustice.

Blu-ray Disc formats for The Suicide Squad comprised 69% of its total unit sales (18% from 4K disc and 51% from regular Blu-ray). Don’t Breathe 2 had 56% of its sales come from Blu-ray (16% 4K and 40% BD). Stillwater had 45% of its sales come from Blu-ray ; it wasn’t released on 4K disc.

The Media Play News rental chart the week ended Oct. 31 had Don’t Breathe 2 at No. 1 and The Suicide Squad at No. 2.

Free Guy grabbed the No. 3 spot after a couple weeks of delayed availability at Redbox rental kiosks, while Stillwater debuted at No. 4.

The previous week’s top rental, Unviersal’s M. Night Shyamalan thriller Old, slipped to No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 10-30-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 10-31-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 10-30-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 10-30-21
Sales Report for Week Ended 10-30-21
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 11-01-21

Merchandising: ‘The Suicide Squad’ Exclusives Arrive at Retail

Oct. 26 saw the arrival of Warner’s The Suicide Squad on Blu-ray, with exclusive versions offered by each of the big three national retailers.

Directed by James Gunn, The Suicide Squad is an ‘R’-rated superhero movie based on the DC Comics team of villains extorted into performing dangerous missions for the U.S. government.

Best Buy, as usual, had a Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack for $34.99.

Best Buy’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ 4K Steelbook

Target offered a copy of the regular Blu-ray Disc edition boxed with 12 collectible character cards for $26.99

Walmart had a variant of the regular Blu-ray version of The Suicide Squad with special lenticular box art for $24.96.

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The week also saw Target release an exclusive $17.99 Steelbook Blu-ray Disc of 31, a 2016 horror movie from director Rob Zombie in which five happy-go-lucky carnies on a cross-country road trip are kidnapped and hunted by murderous clowns in an escape room-style hideaway in the middle of nowhere.

Target’s ’31’ Blu-ray Steelbook

New Oct. 26 Releases Include ‘The Suicide Squad,’ ‘Don’t Breathe 2,’ ‘Stillwater’ on Disc, ‘Language Lessons’ Digitally

Warner’s The Suicide Squad, Sony Pictures’ Don’t Breathe 2 and Universal’s Stillwater are among the new Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases Oct. 26, while Shout! Factory releases Language Lessons for digital purchase.

Director James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad becomes available on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release Oct. 26 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Written and directed by Gunn, the film is based on the DC Comics series about imprisoned supervillains who are recruited by the U.S. government for covert operations, and have a bomb implanted in their heads that will explode if they don’t comply. A sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad and the 10th film in the DC Extended Universe franchise, the film finds government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) sending the team to infiltrate the island nation of Corto Maltese to eliminate a potentially dangerous weapon. Among the recruits this time around are Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), the sharpshooter Bloodsport (Idris Elba), the jingoistic Peacemaker (John Cena), team leader Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), and King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone). The cast also includes Peter Capaldi, Alice Braga, Michael Rooker, Jai Courtney and Pete Davidson. The Suicide Squad earned $55.8 million during a domestic box office run in which it was simultaneously available for streaming on HBO Max for a month. A spinoff series about Cena’s Peacemaker character is set to debut on HBO Max in January.

The horror thriller Don’t Breathe 2 arrives on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Oct. 26 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. In the sequel, Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) has been hiding out for several years in an isolated cabin. He lives with a young girl and has re-created the family stolen from him by a drunk driver. Their quiet life together is shattered when a group of unseemly criminals kidnaps her and forces Norman to tap into even darker and more creative instincts in an effort to save her. It earned $32.6 million at the domestic box office.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment releases the drama Stillwater on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Oct. 26. Directed by Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), the film stars Matt Damon as Bill Baker, an American oil-rig roughneck from Oklahoma who travels to Marseilles to visit his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin), who is in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences and a complicated legal system, Bill builds a new life for himself in France as he makes it his personal mission to exonerate his daughter. The film earned $14.5 million at the domestic box office.

Lionsgate Oct. 26 releases the film On the Rocks on Blu-ray and DVD. Written and directed by Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, Somewhere, The Beguiled), the film stars Bill Murray, Rashida Jones and Marlon Wayans. In the film, Laura (Jones) thinks she’s happily hitched, but when her husband Dean (Wayans) starts logging late hours at the office with a new coworker, Laura begins to fear the worst. She turns to the one man she suspects may have insight: her charming, impulsive father Felix (Murray), who insists they investigate the situation. As the two begin prowling New York at night, careening from uptown parties to downtown hotspots, they discover at the heart of their journey lies their own relationship. On the Rocks was released via the Apple TV+ streaming service last year.

The sci-fi thriller Warning becomes available to own on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally Oct. 26 from Lionsgate. Set in the not-too-distant future, the film explores the repercussions that humanity faces when omniscient technology becomes a substitute for human contact. But life begins to unravel when a global storm causes electronics to go haywire, leading to terrifying, deadly consequences. Warning stars Thomas Jane (Deep Blue Sea), Annabelle Wallis (The Mummy), Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike), Alice Eve (Before We Go) and Kylie Bunbury (“When They See Us”).

Lionsgate releases the coming-of-age family-film Saving Sloane on DVD, VOD and for digital purchase Oct. 26. Written and directed by Steve Franke, the film stars Taylor Foster as a spoiled city girl named Sloane Emerson whose high school friends are leading her into trouble. When her frustrated stepmother sends her to stay with family at a ranch in the country, the rebellious teen ends up forming a bond with a horse named Glory.

The critically acclaimed feature Language Lessons Oct. 26 becomes available for digital purchase and VOD from Shout! Studios. Co-written by and starring Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales, and directed by Morales. The film finds Adam (Duplass) unsure how to fit a gift of weekly Spanish lessons into his life, but when tragedy strikes, his teacher becomes a lifeline he didn’t know he needed. Shout! Factory will release it on Blu-ray Dec. 14.

Breaking Glass Pictures Oct. 26 releases Bad Ben: Benign, the ninth installment of the “Bad Ben” found footage horror series from director Nigel Bach, who also stars in the films. The film will be available on available on DVD and VOD. Bad Ben: Benign begins right where the series left off, as Tom Riley wanders out of the woods behind his home on Steelmanville Road, and must climb through a window to get inside. He is baffled when he sees objects in the house that aren’t his, things moving on their own, and soon finds himself dealing with evil forces. To figure out how to rid the house of evil, he must rely on the help from others and eventually faces the most powerful demon he has ever come across. The “Bad Ben” series began in 2016, and has since seen eight installments: Bad Ben, Steelmanville Road, Badder Ben, Bad Ben: The Mandela Effect, The Crescent Moon Clown, Bad Ben: The Way In, Bad Ben: The Haunted Highway, and Bad Ben: Pandemic.

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases “Superman: The Animated Series” on Blu-ray Oct. 26 to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary. Running for 54 episodes from 1996 to 2000, “Superman: The Animated Series” was produced by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, the creative team behind the groundbreaking “Batman: The Animated Series,” leading to crossovers between the two characters and other DC Comics heroes as a precursor to the “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited” animated series. Tim Daly led the voice cast as Clark Kent/Superman alongside Dana Delany as Lois Lane, David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen, and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor. All 54 episodes have been remastered from the original 35mm interpositive sources, giving special attention to extensive color correction, dirt and scratch clean-up, and adding a grain reduction pass to create a pristine picture, all while making sure not to affect the original lines in the artwork of the animation. The audio was retransferred from the original audio masters, and the series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 4:3.

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment release the crime-drama Walker: Season One on DVD Oct. 26. “Walker,” a reimagining of the long-running series “Walker, Texas Ranger,” stars Jared Padalecki (“Supernatural”) as Cordell Walker, a widower and father with his own moral code, who returns home to Austin, Texas, after being undercover for nearly a year, only to discover there’s harder work to be done at home. Walker will attempt to reconnect with his creative and thoughtful son, August (Kale Culley, “Me, Myself and I”) and his headstrong, somewhat rebellious teenaged daughter, Stella (Violet Brinson, “Sharp Objects”) and navigate changes with the rest of the family. His ADA brother, William “Liam” (Keegan Allen, “Pretty Little Liars”) returned home from New York and stepped in during Walker’s absence, making it all the more difficult for Walker to resume his place in the family. The perceptive matriarch of the Walker clan, Abeline (Molly Hagan, “Herman’s Head”) doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind to keep everyone in line and their traditional rancher father, Bonham (Mitch Pileggi, “The X-Files”) isn’t much for long winded, sentimental prattling, but voices his opinion when it counts most. At work, Walker’s former colleague, Larry James (Coby Bell, “The Game”), is now his Ranger Captain, and both men need time to adjust to their new dynamic. Walker finds unexpected common ground with his new partner, Micki Ramirez, one of the first women in Texas Rangers history, played by Lindsey Morgan (“The 100”). She knows there’s a lot at stake for her in this new job and is quick to school Walker on curbing his maverick ways. Walker’s not Micki’s only distraction, as her relationship with an old friend, Trey (played by Jeff Pierre, “Once Upon a Time”) becomes more serious. The series closely follows Walker as he tries to balance all the new details in his old life while growing increasingly suspicious about the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife (Genevieve Padalecki).

Shout! Factory Oct. 26 releases The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series, a 10-DVD boxed set featuring all three seasons from the Nickelodeon animated series. Jimmy is a genius boy who invents gadgets to improve his daily life situations with his robot dog Goddard by his side. The inventions almost always go awry leading to various mishaps for Jimmy and his best friends Carl and Sheen. Based on the 2001 film Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, the series aired on Nickelodeon from 2002 to 2006. The show’s voice cast includes Debi Derryberry (Toy Story, “F Is for Family”), Rob Paulsen (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Animaniacs”) and Jeffrey Garcia (Rio, Happy Feet), with guest appearances from Tim Curry, Tom Kenny, Jim Belushi, Christian Slate, Michael Clarke Duncan, Dan Castellaneta, Mel Brooks, Ving Rhames and Jay Leno.

Kino Lorber Oct. 26 releases season one “Gomorrah: The Series” on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The Italian crime drama has been called Italy’s answer to “Breaking Bad.” “Gomorrah: The Series” is a gangster show from Stefano Sollima (Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, Romanzo Criminale), based on Roberto Saviano’s best-selling book and the subsequent award-winning film of the same name. Season one tells the inside story of the fierce Neapolitan crime organization the Camorra. It is shown through the eyes of Ciro (Marco D’Amore), the obedient and self-confident right-hand man of the clan’s godfather, Pietro Savastano (Fortunato Cerlino), whose loyalty is pushed to its limits over twelve blood-drenched episodes.

The Underworld 4K Ultra HD Collection arrives on Oct. 26 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The limited-edition gift set includes all five vampire films on 4K Ultra HD disc with high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos audio. The films are also available digitally in 4K with HDR. The collection includes Underworld (in both theatrical and extended versions), Underworld: Evolution, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Underworld: Awakening and Underworld: Blood Wars, as well as hours of standard-definition and HD bonus content for all five films, including the “Underworld: Endless War” animated shorts. Chronicling the eternal battle between vampires and Lycans, the series stars Kate Beckinsale as the vampire Selene.

Severin Films and MVD Entertainment Oct. 26 release 1966’s An Angel for Satan on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, its first-ever authorized American release. In the final film of her Italian gothic period, Barbara Steele (Black Sunday) stars in the erotic shocker. When a cursed statue is recovered from a villa’s lake, a young heiress (Steele) will inflict a torrent of depraved seduction and homicidal madness on the local village. Anthony Steffen (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave), Claudio Gora (Danger: Diabolik) and Marina Berti (Night Train Murders) co-star in this film scanned in 2K from the original negative with both the Italian and thought-lost English tracks recently discovered in a Rome vault.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

‘The Suicide Squad’ Available for Premium Digital Ownership Sept. 17, on Disc Oct. 26

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will make director James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad available for premium digital ownership starting Sept. 17, followed by a Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release Oct. 26.

Written and directed by Gunn, the film is based on the DC Comics series about imprisoned supervillains who are recruited by the U.S. government for covert operations, and have a bomb implanted in their heads that will explode if they don’t comply.

A sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad and the 10th film in the DC Extended Universe franchise, the film finds government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) sending the team to infiltrate the island nation of Corto Maltese to eliminate a potentially dangerous weapon.

Among the recruits this time around are Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), the sharpshooter Bloodsport (Idris Elba), the jingoistic Peacemaker (John Cena), team leader Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), and King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone).

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The cast also includes Peter Capaldi, Alice Braga, Michael Rooker, Jai Courtney and Pete Davidson.

The Suicide Squad earned $54.7 million during a domestic box office run in which it was simultaneously available for streaming on HBO Max for a month.

The Blu-ray, DVD and 4K editions will include the featurette “The Way of The Gunn.”

The Blu-ray and 4K combo packs will also include a digital copy of the film and additional extras such as a commentary with Gunn; deleted and extended scenes; a gag reel; “War Movie,” “Horror Movie” and “Buddy Cop” retro trailers; “It’s a Suicide Mission,” “My Guns Bigger Than Yours,” “Harley’s Great Escape” and “The Fall of Jotunheim” scene breakdowns; and the featurettes “Gotta Love the Squad,” “The Way of the Gunn,” “Starro: It’s a Freakin Kaiju!” and “Bringing King Shark to Life.”

A spinoff series about Cena’s Peacemaker character is set to debut on HBO Max in January.

Warner’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ Falls Below Weekend Box Office Projections

Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Suicide Squad generated around $26.5 million across 4,000 screens through the Aug. 8 weekend — tops at the domestic box office for an ‘R’-rated title, but below industry expectations.

Observers believe the film’s performance was impacted by both the spread of the Delta variant and the fact that the movie is simultaneously screening on HBO Max.

The standalone sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, directed by Marvel Cinematic Universe veteran James Gunn, had been expected to top $30 million in North American ticket sales. It is the latest DC Extended Universe theatrical release since Wonder Woman 1984 opened on Christmas Day 2020.

The benchmark is based in part on opening weekend box office results for Warner’s other pandemic/HBO Max releases such as Godzilla vs. Kong, which earned $31.6 million its opening weekend at theaters while released concurrently to Max subscribers for 31 days. Suicide Squad spinoff Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey opened with $33 million in February 2020 just before the pandemic.

In its third week of release, Disney’s Jungle Cruise generated $15.7 million in North American ticket sales, bringing its domestic total to $65.3 million ($121.8 million worldwide).

M. Night Shyamalan’s horror/thriller Old, distributed by Universal Pictures, brought in an estimated $4.1 million after three weeks, bringing its total to $38.5 million domestically ($68.1 million worldwide).

Disney/Marvel Studios’ Black Widow topped $4 million in its fifth week of release to become the top-grossing domestic release so far this year, passing Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga. Sister company Focus Features’ Stillwater generated $2.8 million, followed A24’s The Green Knight with $2.6 million and Warner’s Space Jam: A New Legacy with $2.4 million. The LeBron James-starrer has generated $65.6 million in U.S. theaters while concurrently streaming on Max.

Weekend Box Office Takes on ‘The Suicide Squad’ and Delta Variant

This weekend’s release of The Suicide Squad comes five years and one pandemic since Warner Bros. Pictures released the original Suicide Squad movie.

The standalone sequel also is the latest DC Extended Universe theatrical release since Wonder Woman 84 opened on Christmas Day 2020.

The Suicide Squad, which opens Aug. 6 in theaters and on HBO Max, features a mostly new ensemble cast of anti-superheroes; a new director, James Gunn; and scant holdovers (Margot Robbie as anti-villainess  Harley Quinn, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag) from the original.

Gunn enjoyed commercial and critical success with Disney/Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise; thus, social media buzz for The Suicide Squad bow has been high. But August brings with it rising concerns about the Delta variant, which has seen surges in COVID infections and hospitalizations in parts of the country — especially among unvaccinated populations.

Suicide Squad in 2016 debuted to a record August opening box office of $134 million, and ultimately generated global ticket sales of $746.8 million.

But with moviegoers still apprehensive about the pandemic, and The Suicide Squad streaming for free to Max subs, this opening weekend’s box office numbers could generate a fraction ($30 million) of the original, according to industry projections.

An Aug. 1 consumer survey from the National Research Group found 11% fewer respondents than in July (81%) willing to frequent movie theaters due to Delta concerns. Last month, several key counties in the major box office market of California — including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento — reinstituted mandatory masks for indoor activities.

As a result, the domestic weekend box office is expected to generate nearly 20% fewer ticket sales than last weekend’s $75 million, which was driven by Disney’s Jungle Cruise. The Walt Disney Studios release is projected to generate less than $15 million in its second weekend of release, followed by Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow ($3.9 million), Universal Pictures’ Old ($3.8 million), Warner’s Space Jam: A New Legacy ($2.6 million), A24’s The Green Knight ($2.5 million), Focus Features’ Stillwater ($2.4 million), Paramount Pictures’ Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins ($1.8 million), Sony Pictures’ Escape Room: Tournament of Champions ($1.3 million) and Universal’s F9: The Fast Saga with $1.2 million.

F9 is also available in consumer homes on PVOD for $19.99, while Black Widow can be purchased for $29.99 until Oct. 6.

HBO Max Greenlights ‘Suicide Squad’ Spinoff Series ‘Peacemaker’ Starring John Cena

HBO Max ordered the production of eight episodes for new action-comedy series “Peacemaker,” starring actor and WWE superstar John Cena, reprising his character from the upcoming Warner Bros. movie, The Suicide Squad.

The movie’s writer-director, James Gunn, will write all eight episodes of “Peacemaker” and will direct multiple episodes, including the first. Gunn and The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran will serve as executive producers of the series, with Cena as co-executive producer.

John Cena

Based on characters from DC Comics, “Peacemaker” is scheduled to begin production in early 2021, prior to Gunn beginning work on the next Disney/Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy film.

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While details about “Peacemaker” are being kept under wraps, the series will explore the origins of the character that Cena will play in the upcoming film, a man who believes in peace at any cost — no matter how many people he has to kill to get it. The series will extend the world that Gunn is creating for The Suicide Squad movie, which is scheduled to be released in theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures on Aug. 6, 2021.

“‘Peacemaker’ is an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag,” Gunn said in a statement.

Casey Bloys, chief content officer for HBO and HBO Max, said Gunn has the unique ability to create an expansive universe while also bringing to life the soul and wit of each character.

“We look forward to a deep dive into the world of ‘Peacemaker,'” Bloys said.