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Fans feud with critics ahead of ‘Suicide Squad’ release

"Suicide Squad", the latest superhero movie of the summer has already caused quite a stir, with some fans furious with the criticism it's already received.

The film, distributed by Warner Bros and released Friday in the U.S., is forecast to make $133 million in its opening weekend, according to the website Box Office Pro.

"Suicide Squad"
Source: Suicidesquad.com
"Suicide Squad"

However, the film has so far been heavily criticized by reviewers; only 27 percent of critics have given "Suicide Squad" a positive assessment, according to the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Fans of the movie reacted negatively to the bad press and complained about critics on social media. One fan, Abdullah Coldwater, started an online petition calling for Rotten Tomatoes to be shut down, but later changed the petition to one advising people not to listen to film criticism.

"You may enjoy a movie regardless what the critics say about it," he said on the petition's page on Change.org. "We must get the people to know that the criticism is not the measure of the quality of movies, it's just the opinions of the critics."

More than 19,000 people have signed the petition so far.

The reviews aren't likely to directly affect the box office of "Suicide Squad", according to Daniel Loría, vice president of content strategy and editorial director at publishing firm BoxOffice Media, as the fans who reacted angrily will see it regardless of critics.

"Film criticism is most impactful at the box office when there's an element of discovery to it: Awards contenders, foreign films, or independent movies for example," he told CNBC via email.

"Critical reception is fairly limited when it comes to a franchise this recognizable; people who enjoy the characters and are interested in the material will likely turn out."

Criticism could be useful, however, for predicting how well the film will perform after its opening weekend.

"The awful reviews for 'Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice' didn't affect its debut, but they did forecast the significant drop-off in ticket sales for subsequent weekends of its run," he said.

"The reason that films this big don't hit that $1 billion mark globally isn't because people don't see them, it's because people don't see them multiple times."

This might be the latest example of a feud between critics and audiences, but do these public spats benefit the movie-makers?

"I think they believe the potential is there. Take (2016's) 'Ghostbusters' which pushed a very strong misogynist narrative. It became less about the quality of the film and more about the 'importance' of a blockbuster with an all-female leading cast," Anghus Houvouras, movie maker and writer for the pop culture website Flickering Myth, told CNBC via email.

"Sony and Paul Feig got on board and beat that horse to death. But it didn't end up resulting in the kind of cultural zeitgeist they were hoping for. Those who benefit from feuds are the media and websites that proliferate a binary narrative. Conflict breeds clicks," he said.

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