Birds of Prey gets new title at movie theaters after disappointing opening at box office
Birds of Prey‘s first weekend wasn’t exactly Fantabulous at the box office. The DC film opened below expectations with just $33 million domestically, having been projected to earn $50-55 million in its opening weekend. There are a few possible reasons for this: Perhaps the film’s R rating shut out younger viewers, or maybe everyone just wanted to stay home and watch the Oscars this past weekend (okay, that definitely wasn’t it).
But it seems distributor Warner Bros. has a theory of its own: Potential viewers must not be aware that Birds of Prey focuses on Margot Robbie‘s Harley Quinn. Well, the studio has now taken steps to make that loud and clear…or rather, louder and clearer. Though the film’s official title is Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), take a look at the listings for your local multiplex and you’ll see something slightly different: Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. AMC, Regal, and Cinemark‘s websites all currently display this title for the film.
While it’s not confirmed that the movie’s underwhelming box office numbers motivated this change, it’s safe to assume they had something to do with it, as it’s rare for a film’s listed title to change post-release. (Representatives for Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.) Birds of Prey has earned $46 million internationally for a worldwide total of $79 million so far, against a reported $82 million budget. It’s estimated that the film will need to gross $250-300 million worldwide to break even.
Birds of Prey follows Harley Quinn in the wake of her breakup with the Joker, as she falls in with the titular crew of antiheroines, including Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, and Rosie Perez as jaded Detective Renee Montoya. Financial returns aside, the film has earned critical praise, with an 80% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ from EW’s own Leah Greenblatt.
Birds of Prey is now playing in theaters nationwide.