Birds of Prey Fails to Take Flight at the Box Office

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Birds of Prey finally arrived in theaters over the weekend. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up being the success Warner Bros. had hoped. As reported by Deadline, The Harley Quinn spin-off grossed just $33.2 million on its opening weekend at the box office domestically, which was far below the expected $50 to $55 million opening analysts were projecting. It was even well below Warner Bros.’ more conservative $45 million projection. 


In total, Birds of Prey collected $81.2 million worldwide over the weekend, which isn’t an outright disaster, as it’s estimated the film cost less than $100 million to produce. Still, it’s far from a runaway success and certainly wasn’t the R-rated franchise starter the studio was hoping for. At best, they may be able to call this one a wash, depending on how things shake out in the coming weeks. 


This is, perhaps, especially confusing given that critics and audiences who have seen the movie generally seem to like it quite a bit. As of this writing, Birds of Prey holds an 80 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. On the flipside, we have Suicide Squad, where Margot Robbie made her debut as Harley Quinn. That film sits at just 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, yet it went on to gross $747 million globally. 


The other unfortunate side to all of this is that DC Films had been on a nice run since the disappointment of Justice League in 2017. Aquaman went on to gross more than $1 billion globally. Joker was nominated for 11 Oscars, with Joaquin Phoenix winning Best Actor for his portrayal of the iconic villain, with the movie also taking in $1 billion at the box office. Shazam wasn’t quite as big of a financial hit, but it earned a respectable $365 million and was a major hit with critics. 


On the plus side, it seems Warner Bros. is still on track, in terms of quality, with its more recent DC adaptations. While it’s certainly a shame that Birds of Prey didn’t find more of an audience commercially, the response has been undoubtedly positive. That is still moving the needle in the right direction. This could ultimately have been more of a marketing issue than anything else. 


Here’s the official synopsis for Birds of Prey


“You ever hear the one about the cop, the songbird, the psycho and the mafia princess? “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” is a twisted tale told by Harley herself, as only Harley can tell it. When Gotham’s most nefariously narcissistic villain, Roman Sionis, and his zealous right-hand, Zsasz, put a target on a young girl named Cass, the city is turned upside down looking for her. Harley, Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya’s paths collide, and the unlikely foursome have no choice but to team up to take Roman down.” 


So what do you think? Did Birds of Prey deserve to make more money on its opening weekend? Will this change the studio’s thinking when it comes to other DC movies they have coming down the pipeline? Join in on the conversation over on Facebook or Twitter

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