The baddies of Suicide Squad are getting pummelled by critics, but they're fighting back at the box office.
The film took an estimated $20.5 million (£15.7 million) in Thursday preview showings in the US, a record for an August opening, according to studio estimates on Friday.
The previous August record-holder was Guardians Of The Galaxy, which earned $11.2 million (£8.6 million) in 2014, not adjusted for inflation.
Directed by David Ayer and starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie, Suicide Squad is on course for a $140 million (£107 million) opening weekend, but it remains to be seen whether poor reviews take a toll.
Joe Morgenstern wrote in the Wall Street Journal: "In a word, Suicide Squad is trash. In two words, it's ugly trash. Maybe no more words should be wasted on a movie that is, after all, only a movie, not a natural disaster or a terrorist attack."
The film is the next step in the DC Comics and Warner Bros expanded universe and cost around $175 million (£134 million) to produce.