The Suicide Squad Scores 2nd Most-Watched HBO Max Debut

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Every major streaming service tends to keep the majority of viewing data under wraps, but at least Netflix semi-regularly offer concrete figures that give an indication as to what’s been hitting big on the platform, even if the announcements only tend to be made when the movie or TV show in question is an unqualified success.

Amazon Prime and HBO Max have never even offered a shred of genuine viewership habits, so we’re left to take each company at their word. We’re to believe that Coming 2 America scored the biggest opening weekend of streaming for the entire pandemic era because Amazon told us so, just like we have no choice but to buy into the fact The Suicide Squad has become HBO Max’s second most-watched hybrid release ever behind only Mortal Kombat, as touted by WarnerMedia exec Andy Forssell.

“As the country faces new challenges due to the COVID variant, we’re happy to continue to offer fans the option of viewing movies in their homes. Many chose to do just that as Suicide Squad emerged as the second most viewed film over an opening weekend on HBO Max since we began day-and-date releases with theaters.”

Is that even really something to shout about, though? Simon McQuoid’s video game reboot cost $55 million compared to the DCEU blockbuster’s $185 million, and while both were R-rated, The Suicide Squad only opened $3 million higher at the box office and was viewed as a disappointment with theaters operating at 85% capacity, much higher than when Mortal Kombat arrived at the end of April.

It feels like a half-hearted pat on the back to congratulate The Suicide Squad for doing the best it could under the circumstances, because there’s no way the R-rated adventure is going to see a single penny of profit. It barely topped Mortal Kombat‘s domestic opening weekend and couldn’t even dislodge it from the all-time HBO Max rankings, so at this stage the boardroom have a much firmer argument for giving the latter a sequel over the former.