LOS ANGELES (AP) - The baddies of "Suicide Squad" are getting pummeled by critics, but they're fighting back at the box office.

LOS ANGELES (AP) The baddies of "Suicide Squad" are getting pummeled by critics, but they're fighting back at the box office.

The film took in an estimated $20.5 million in Thursday preview showings, a record for an August opening according to studio estimates Friday.

The previous August record-holder was "Guardians of the Galaxy," which earned $11.2 million in 2014, not adjusted for inflation.

By comparison, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," which opened in March, launched with a $27.7 million Thursday.

Directed by David Ayer and starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie, "Suicide Squad" has been tracking for a $140 million weekend, but it remains to be seen whether poor reviews take a toll. The film is the next step in the DC Comics and Warner Bros. expanded universe and cost around $175 million to produce.