Between the Streams: Suicide Squad scrum — is DC in trouble?

DT’s weekly entertainment show, Between the Streams, is your guide to all of the hottest, most important, and (of course) dumbest new developments in streaming and entertainment, providing a handy recap of the week that was. Follow us here every Friday or add us via RSS, iTunes, or Stitcher at the links above to take BtS on the road!

Suicide Squad! It’s kind of a big deal, for so many reasons, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t give the film its due as it opens this weekend poised to become the biggest August movie ever. That’s right folks, the critics may be crushing it, the superfans may be worshipping it, but no matter what happens, Suicide Squad is expected to open huge, pegged at $140 million dollars for the weekend. That’s good news for Warner Bros. and directer David Ayers, as it will take a big chunk out of the film’s reported $175 million budget, along with a likely similar number in marketing alone.

So what gives with this film? We’ll be going over a large swath of the critical opinions, which trend from the simplistic (“Suicide Squad is just bad”), to middling reviews, and even some who think the film is a step in the right direction. In fact, while it’s earned a paltry 29 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, there seems to be at least a modicum of consensus that this film is a shade better than WB’s previous film in the DC cinematic universe, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of … yada, yada. (Yes, there are many qualifiers there.)

So perhaps there is some good news to take away here for Warner Bros., especially since Wonder Woman’s latest trailer looks excellent, seemingly pointing to an upward trend for WB’s critically maligned super franchise. That said, one has to ask how Marvel can keep minting money and gaining critical favor, while DC is simply bringing in those dollar bills. At some point, if the films continue to be unimpressive to those outside the superfan set, will the public stop paying big to see these films. That’s one of many questions we’ll be asking this week.

But, of course, it’s not all DC this week. We’ve got plenty of other topics to discuss, including some fresh news on the unconfirmed (but mostly confirmed) Stranger Things season 2. Co-creator Matt Duffer spilled some more (spoiler free) news this week, saying that if the new season does get the green light, it’ll be set a year after the first season. Comparing it to the Harry Potter effect, Duffer said that the age of the actors all but dictates this fact, but he and brother Ross will be using those limits to their advantage, building it into the storyline and pushing things forward, alongside a few new key characters.

Elsewhere on Netflix, the highly anticipated animated film The Little Prince premieres this week on the streamer, as well as in select theaters to put it in Oscar contention. The movie, an adaptation of the famed French children’s novella of the same name, is a beautiful mix of CG scenes blended with impressive stop-motion animation to create a unique aesthetic, backed up by a host of stars, from Jeff Bridges to Paul Rudd.

We’ll also be talking about new rumors of a possible Star Wars TV show on ABC. It’s almost impossible to imagine the live-action Star Wars universe contained within the small screen, but it almost happened under George Lucas’ watch (with a rumored 50 episodes in the works), and you can bet that Disney will go with it if the company thinks it could be economically viable without burning its precious Lucasfilm brand.

Also this week we’ll talk about the green light for a Fantastic Beasts sequel, our Between the Cracks segment where we outline an excellent show or movie you probably don’t know about, and so much more. So tune in at 2 p.m. PT live, catch us on YouTube, or follow our podcast and take us along with you.

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