Despite receiving a largely positive response from those who have seen the movie, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) has so far stuttered at the box office. And as such, Warner Brothers has swiftly made a move to try and bring more eyes to the Cathy Yan-helmed picture.
In an interesting marketing move, the title of the film has now been changed to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey.
Globally, Birds of Prey’s opening weekend took around $85 million. That is far from a disaster, yet it is also far from what The WB were expecting. Birds of Prey cost a reported $100 million, and the hope from Warners was that the movie would strike hard at the box office, particularly given the popularity of Margot Robbie’s Maid of Mischief.
Regardless of your thoughts on Suicide Squad, Robbie’s Harleen was one of the undeniable home runs of that picture. As such, Quinn has been given a major boost in popularity over the past couple of years – to the point where you can’t go to any sort of convention without seeing every third person dressed as some variation of Harley Quinn.
Seemingly, Warners thought that having Harley at the centre of Birds of Prey would be enough to bring in some strong box office numbers, that that has so far not been the case for the film. It’s purely guesswork on our part, but you’d have to imagine that Warner Brothers were expecting the R-rated, erratic, vibrant tale to garner the huge sort of numbers achieved by Deadpool – a film which took a jaw-dropping $782 million from a budget of just $58 million.
Whether it’s the stink of Suicide Squad, whether it’s the general (often unfair) perception of recent DC movies, whether it’s the result of a broader oversaturation of comic book movies over the past decade, or whether it’s simply that casual moviegoers don’t have any interest in Birds of Prey’s characters, the film isn’t doing anywhere near as well as Warner Bros. Pictures was hoping.
Will changing the title from Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey magically change the movie’s appeal and box office pulling power? We’ll have to wait and see.
Either way, we had an absolute hoot with the film – as you can find in our 9/10 review for the picture.