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'Suicide Squad' wins box office again, yet how is it really doing financially?

The DC Comics movie came in first at the box office again after setting an August record, but poor reviews may be catching up to it quickly, as they did for another superhero movie this year.

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'Suicide Squad' stars Margot Robbie.

Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures/AP

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“Suicide Squad” came in first at the box office this past weekend, but its makers may not be happy: like this year's earlier DC Comics film “Batman v Superman,” its record-setting opening weekend was followed by a big drop, suggesting that negative reviews are keeping would-be watchers at home – or at competing films. 

“Squad” grossed more than $43 million this past weekend, while the animated comedy “Sausage Party” placed second, taking in more than $33 million in its opening weekend. The Disney live-action movie “Pete’s Dragon” placed third in its own opening weekend, taking in more than $21 million. 

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The action film “Jason Bourne,” the newest entry in the action series, placed fourth after having debuted in late July, grossing more than $13 million this past weekend, while the comedy “Bad Moms,” which had also opened in late July, came in fifth place, grossing more than $11 million. 

Coming in first place at the box office is never a bad thing. But industry observers are noting that the "Squad" gross of $43.8 million is a far cry from its $135.1 million gross last week. It’s a pattern that was seen earlier this year with the superhero movie “Batman v Superman,” which is also based on DC Comics characters and was released by Warner Bros. 

Such a dramatic drop between weeks one and two, "while not unexpected for a film of its size," can indicate "poor word of mouth," the Associated Press reports. Like “Batman v Superman,” “Suicide Squad” was not well-received by critics, and earnings for both slipped nearly 70 percent after just a week in theaters. 

Brent Lang of Variety called the performance by “Squad” this past weekend one of the “victories that feel more like defeats.” 

“It’s a signal that the deplorable reviews are catching up with the film and is unwelcome news for Warner Bros., which is trying to launch an inter-connected series of cinematic adventures based on DC Comics characters, but is still struggling to make movies that people like, as well as attend,” Mr. Lang writes.