I’m so sad about Birds of Prey’s disappointing box office performance

I really enjoyed Birds of Prey so I was gutted when I saw the opening weekend box office figures come in because I don’t want it to be considered a flop. It deserves to be bringing in more money than the likes of Justice League!

The film stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, who she played in Suicide Squad. Birds of Prey follows her as she gets over her break-up from the Joker and teams up with Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to help save a young girl from an evil crime lord. It’s a delight and a breath of fresh air. It’s honestly one of the best DCEU films besides Joker and Wonder Woman and it annoys me that people are sleeping on it.

Over opening weekend, Birds of Prey took $33 million at the U.S. box office, way below the $45 million it was estimated to make. It took $48 million everywhere else, bringing its global haul to $88 million.

The reviews were fairly positive – with particular shout outs to Robbie’s excellent performance and the inventive and clever fight scenes – and I thought Harley Quinn was a fan favourite DC Comics character so I’m surprised it hasn’t done better. I’m personally glad it went for an R-rating but that already meant it was reducing its audience (although that never hurt Deadpool etc) and I must admit, marketing-wise, the film should have had Harley Quinn in the title just to make it super clear. ‘Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey’ is more accurate, so it’s no surprise that the title has been updated.

It’s a shame because it was written, directed, produced by and starring women and if it had done well we could have had more edgy female ensemble action/comedy movies like this. This now seems unlikely and studios will be less willing to gamble on it. As it was, Robbie spent years pitching this to Warner Bros. so I feel really sorry for her that it hasn’t done better. Cathy Yan, who is only the second female director in the DCEU and the first person of Asian descent to direct any U.S. superhero movie, only had one indie to her name before this and I can’t imagine she’s gonna be offered another big-budget movie any time soon (this rarely happens to male directors by the way).

Birds of Prey deserves to be seen by all the usual fans of comic book movies because it is brilliant. I came away hoping for a sequel and my dreams have been ruined. Go check it out! I’m still holding out hope that things can turn around.

Read my Birds of Prey review here.

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