LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Defying a barrage of dismal reviews, the DC comics-inspired film Suicide Squad topped the box office with US$135.1 million ($181.92 million) in sales this weekend, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations estimates.
That topped the US$94.3 million record for an August weekend set in 2014 by Walt Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy.
Starring Will Smith, Jared Leto and Margot Robbie as a band of deadly criminals recruited to execute dangerous black-ops missions, the film has an average critical score of 4.7 out of 10 on the reviews aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.
The supervillains still bested Jason Bourne, the latest in Universal's spy thriller series that took second with US$22.7 million.
The bawdy comedy Bad Moms starring Mila Kunis, Kristin Bell and Kathryn Hahn as overworked and under-appreciated mothers who ditch responsibility for indulgence drew in US$14.2 to nab third place.
The Secret Life of Pets took fourth with $11.6 million, bringing one of the year's biggest hits to an impressive US$319.6 million total.
Paramount's Star Trek Beyond - the latest instalment in the 50-year-old franchise - dropped to fifth with $10.2 million.
Rounding out the top 10 films of the weekend were: - Nine Lives (US$6.5 million) - Lights Out (US$6 million) - Nerve (US$4.9 million) - Ghostbusters (US$4.8 million) - Ice Age: Collision Course (US$4.3 million).