'Suicide Squad' destroys August record with $135 million opening

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Will Smith Leads Big Name Cast In Suicide Squad

It's official: "Suicide Squad" is a big box office winner, bringing in an estimated $135.1 million from 4,255 theaters in its opening weekend.

David Ayer's film easily broke the all-time opening record for August, ahead of the record set by Disney-Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," which opened to $94.3 million in 2014.

If this estimate sticks, the ensemble antihero movie starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot and Jared Leto as The Joker, will have beat the opening weekend of Disney Pixar's enormously popular "Finding Dory," which debuted to $135 million.

That also puts "Squad" ahead of Fox's $132.4-million debut for "Deadpool," to potentially secure its position as the third-highest-grossing opening of the year.

Meanwhile, EuropaCorp's fantasy cat comedy "Nine Lives" made $6.5 million from 2,264 screens. It stars Kevin Spacey as a billionaire who enters the body of a feline named Mr. Fuzzypants.

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

The latest Warner Bros. comic book movie, produced for $175 million, built tremendous momentum going into its debut, amassing ever-increasing box office estimates over the past two weeks.

Part of the reason: African American and Hispanic moviegoers made up a huge part of the "Suicide Squad" audience. According to PostTrak exit poll data collected by comScore, those two demographics gave the film a massive 81 percent positive score.

Of all surveyed, 34 percent listed the ensemble cast of villains as the main reason they went to see "Squad."

RELATED: See photos from the Suicide Squad premiere

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Suicide Squad NYC premiere

Margot Robbie hit a total high note in a gorgeous Alexander McQueen gown that featured a gold sequined unicorn and a single sheer polka dot sleeve. Dark lips and a loose updo completed her knockout look. Celebrity hair stylist Renato Campora achieved her chic look with the help of KMS ADD VOLUME Volumizing Spray and KMS FREE SHAPE hot flex spray.

(Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Jared Leto emulated The Joker in a not-so-serious calf-length embroidered Gucci jacket, cropped slacks and green loafers.

(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)

The front of the actor's ensemble featured military-esque gold buttons, dramatic lapels and more floral embroidery.

(Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Cara Delevingne oozed sex appeal in a sheer mesh two-piece top held together by punk-inspired safety pins. Thigh-high heeled boots completed her killer ensemble.

(Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Viola Davis played it safe in a simple silver wrap dress and navy velvet pumps. She finished off her look with a swipe of red lipstick, a white clutch and cuff bracelet.

(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Will Smith rocked a brown suit with sleek shoes and a printed gray tie.

(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Actress Karen Fukuhara dazzled in a gorgeous semi-sheer gown with organic embroidery.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Actor Jai Courtney stunned in a steel blue suit, white shirt sans tie and sharp shoes.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Jaden Smith looked uber cool in a bold striped jacket, skinny jeans and exposed socks. and unruly 'do completed his look.

(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Actress Corina Calderon donned simple black spaghetti strap Zara Umrigar gown with a sweetheart neckline and sheer panel that exposed her tight tummy.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Shailyn Pierre-Dixon stunned in a futuristic two-piece set with floral details and sheer cutouts.

 (Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Singer Skylar Grey flaunted her legs under a dramatic sheer skirt.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Jim Parrack donned a simple black suit and skinny tie.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Actress Leven Rambin wowed in a fun navy midi dress with a black chiffon mermaid skit and white lace trim.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Actress Clare Foley attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Adam Beach and Summer Tiger attend the 'Suicide Squad' premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Singer/songwriter Kehlani attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Singer Grace attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Ike Barinholtz attends the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Harley Quinn Smith and father Kevin Smith attend the 'Suicide Squad' World Premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Alessandro Michele attends the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Scott Eastwood attends the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Frank Miller attends the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Actor Jim Parrack attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: President of DC Entertainment Diane Nelson attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Rapper G-Eazy attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: (L-R) Daniella Deutscher and Jay Hernandez attend the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Meghan McCarthy attends the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 1: Akemi Darenogare attends The World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures and Atlas Entertainment's 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatreq on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 1: Yolonda Ross attends The World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures and Atlas Entertainment's 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatreq on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Actor David Harbour attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
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Will Smith was also a big draw, as 23 percent said they went to the movie to see him in action as Deadshot. And 21 percent were drawn by Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

"Suicide Squad" reeled in $20.5 million during Thursday night previews, nearly doubling the previous Thursday August record, also held by "Guardians of the Galaxy" with $11.2 million.

The Warner Bros. film made big money, particularly for a new franchise launch, and during a summer that's in desperate need of bigger box office receipts.

Its huge opening also serves as a stark contrast to the film's critical reception, and its meager 26 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Fans remain passionate about the film, which earned a B+ CinemaScore (the same as "Nine Lives"). Also worth noting: The film has a nearly-50 point differential on Rotten Tomatoes between critics and audiences — who gave it a solid 74 percent rating.

With only a month to go until the end of the summer season, total domestic grosses are only at $3.2 billion, pacing well behind last summer's record box office — whose final tally of $4.5 billion seems unlikely to be topped.

Another indicator that "Suicide Squad" was going to kill: 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.

Box office: 'Suicide Squad' smashes record with $135.1 Million debut

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