Why Did The Harley Quinn Birds Of Prey Movie Bomb At The Box Office?

by Jay Cochran
February 09, 2020
Birds of Prey opened in theaters this weekend to lackluster box office results. The movie is projected to bring in only $34 million this weekend, which would give it the distinction of being the lowest opening DC-based movie since the horrible ďJonah HexĒ movie back in 2010.

The movie received fairly strong reviews and decent praise from many of the fans who actually went to see it in the theaters. I havenít seen the movie myself so I canít speak to whether itís a good movie or not, but the question still begs to be answered ó why arenít more people going to see it.

Obviously I canít speak for everyone, just myself and why I havenít been motivated to go see it. I am sure over the course of the next few weeks, you will hear plenty of theories on why the movie bombed. Some will likely blame the ďRĒ rating, even though that didnít seem to really hurt movies like Joker and Deadpool. Some will likely try to blame the movieís poor performance as being some type of feminist agenda hatched by the studio for female power that went astray.

For me, I cite two main reasons. First, I am discovering that my interest in traveling to a movie theater and paying for expensive movie tickets and snack prices seems to decrease with each passing year. Maybe itís an age thing. My general feeling is I am just as content to wait a few extra months and watch it from the comfort of my home. Like many, I have a nice sound system, a big flatscreen HDTV on the wall, and a nice comfy couch to watch movies on. I really donít need a movie theater to have that movie experience. I did go see Joker in theaters, but honestly I would have been just as content if I waited and watched it at home. At home, I wouldnít have had to be patted down by security to make sure I wasnít sneaking a gun into the theater or be worried about getting shot, which was big concern for Joker, at least according to the mainstream media.

Still thatís really not the biggest reason for me to not go see this one in theaters. For me, itís more that I have just lost interest in the DC movie universe. Ever since Justice League and its poor performance at the box office, DC and Warner Bros. seem to have lost faith in their own product. In turn, this seems to have caused a total lack of cohesive direction. Yes, I am spoiled by Marvel movies. I want a cohesive DC Universe just like I have a cohesive Marvel Universe. There are many characters Marvel has given movies that I generally donít have a huge interest in, but I go to see them because I want to see the puzzle piece they bring to the overall picture. That seems to have been lost with DC ever since Justice League, because Warner Bros doesnít seem to have enough faith in their universe to continue on. So now we end up with these movies that canít decide what they want to do. Sure, some are better than others. I liked Shazam but it really didnít do much to further the DCU. They couldnít even get Henry Cavill to do a proper cameo, so we ended up seeing some guys chest. We donít even know if Cavill will be Superman again, and seemingly neither does Warner Bros. Donít even get me started on Batman.

Here is the thing, I enjoyed Margot Robbieís performance of Harley in the Suicide Squad movie, and I donít doubt she gave a strong performance in this movie. I have always thought Harley is a strong supporting character, which is what she was created to be. Do I really think she is an interesting enough character to carry a solo movie? No, and since I have no idea what connection this movie has, if any, to the previous Suicide Squad one ó which is in the process of being totally revamped by James Gunn with an almost all-new cast, or the Jared Leto Joker and Ben Affleck BatmanÖ or wait is it the Joaquin Phoenix Joker and the younger Robert Pattinson Batman now???? I donít know, and honestly I donít think Warner Bros does either. With this lackluster box-office performance, Robbie probably will be ousted by the studio and replaced by someone else next time we see Harley on the screen. At the end of the day, If Warner Bros. canít stand behind these things, then why should I be bothered to be interested enough to go check it out? I will watch Birds of Prey eventually, but likely from the comfort of my home.

Did you go see the movie? If so let us know your thoughts about it. If not, let us know why in the COMMENT SECTION below.
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Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
Asterix - 2020-02-15 @ 8:02 am

I think one of its main problems is it just looks...ugly and uninteresting.

Harley Quinn is dressed like an idiot. WHAT IS THAT OUTFIT EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE? She looks like a Stripper/Plumber from the Mad Max universe. I look at her outfit and I see plumber's overalls.

It's further hurt by a lack of any characters that we care about. Now, granted, fans of the Batman comics (and DC comics in general) will recognize most of these characters, particularly Huntress and Black Canary. The thing is, these characters don't resemble their comic counterparts at all, and they certainly aren't wearing any interesting costumes, much less costumes that even SLIGHTLY resemble their comic outfits.

So to a casual viewer you have this : Harley Quinn and a bunch of boring normal people are fighting against some evil boring normal people. That's what the trailer showed us anyway. No cool looking super powered characters to be found in the trailer or promotional material.

The studio thought Harley could carry a movie on her own like Deadpool did, because those two characters are pretty neck and neck in terms of popularity amongst comic fans. The difference is, the Deadpool movies did Deadpool RIGHT. He was portrayed as he is in the comics. In both character AND appearance.

Harley? Not so much.

Goldbug - 2020-02-15 @ 7:01 am
On 2/10/2020 at 6:47 PM, Satam said:

Apparently, WB is renaming the movie "Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey."https://bloody-disgusting.com/comics/3604284/harley-quinn-birds-prey-warner-bros-quickly-retitles-film-weak-box-office-opening/Problem solved. Now it'll make BILLIONS!

that only proves DC doesn't know what they are doing

Satam - 2020-02-11 @ 12:47 am

Apparently, WB is renaming the movie "Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey."https://bloody-disgusting.com/comics/3604284/harley-quinn-birds-prey-warner-bros-quickly-retitles-film-weak-box-office-opening/Problem solved. Now it'll make BILLIONS!

silverback77346 - 2020-02-10 @ 10:08 pm

And there you have it folks, Birds of Prey never had a prayer, they came, they crashed, they burned. Game over. Tough break DC.

Belmont13 - 2020-02-10 @ 2:36 pm

I'm in the camp of rarely going to the movies anymore, not really interested in a lot of stuff out there. As for this movie, never really had any interest in it, I wasn't a fan of Suicide Squad and I don't care for Harley Quinn and Margot Robbie's portrayal of her. The trailers all looked pretty underwhelming and although I'm a fan of Ewan McGregor, I don't think he's enough of a reason to go see this movie. The drawing point here should have been the Birds of Prey but most of the marketing for this movie made it seem like they were back up singers for Harley Quinn, plus they are barely recognizable. When making a movie based on a comic book you have to strike a balance where the movie can appeal to both comic book fans and casual audiences. I feel that the costumes from this movie could have been better, especially when you consider the fact that is one area where WB/DC had great success in their recent movies. Most reviews I have read have been positive but I didn't read anything in those reviews that made change my mind about it. Perhaps positive word of mouth will turn things around for this movie financially but I doubt it.

Goldbug - 2020-02-10 @ 4:17 am
5 hours ago, Flounnderr said:

Well honestly, I don't think it has anything to do with people in general not wanting to go to theaters because of pricing and snacks. Clearly people are seeing movies still despite this.

Why did this movie fail?

1) Nobody was really in their costumes (it didn't look like a superhero movie)

2) didn't follow any real relation to the comics (of which that's a main market for getting fan butts in the seats)

3) mainly a female cast that seems to be pitched only to a female market (be smart and cast a wider appeal; both Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman had men in the supporting cast)

I think DC tried to make this a "Deadpool" and I think it would've worked if it was just a Harley movie and had a smaller cast. Also, I think the studio relied on the popularity of the character for comic fans and played only to newcomer viewers and assumed comic fans would see it regardless of what they put up on screen.

Yep I have no interest in seeing it at all because of #1 & #2

Once again I assume Harley is the only one in character! Black Mask might be too. However the rest of the cast don't seem to be at all.

Satam - 2020-02-10 @ 1:09 am

The wife and I are extremely choosy about what movies we go see in theaters, probably much more than we used to be. Unless someone else is paying, we don't go to see movies that we aren't already sure we're going to like. And even then it has to be something that looks epic like 1917 or Endgame.

2 hours ago, JayC said:

Actually the overall box office is down, people aren't going to movies as much as they once did.

JayC - 2020-02-09 @ 10:54 pm
11 minutes ago, Flounnderr said:

Well honestly, I don't think it has anything to do with people in general not wanting to go to theaters because of pricing and snacks. Clearly people are seeing movies still despite this.

Actually the overall box office is down, people aren't going to movies as much as they once did.

Flounnderr - 2020-02-09 @ 10:44 pm

Well honestly, I don't think it has anything to do with people in general not wanting to go to theaters because of pricing and snacks. Clearly people are seeing movies still despite this.

Why did this movie fail?

1) Nobody was really in their costumes (it didn't look like a superhero movie)

2) didn't follow any real relation to the comics (of which that's a main market for getting fan butts in the seats)

3) mainly a female cast that seems to be pitched only to a female market (be smart and cast a wider appeal; both Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman had men in the supporting cast)

I think DC tried to make this a "Deadpool" and I think it would've worked if it was just a Harley movie and had a smaller cast. Also, I think the studio relied on the popularity of the character for comic fans and played only to newcomer viewers and assumed comic fans would see it regardless of what they put up on screen.

Stikman - 2020-02-09 @ 7:11 pm

I personally have no interest in this movie. If they'd made a movie where the Birds of Prey actually hunted Harley and Poison Ivy, I'd be far more interested.

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