Warner Bros. and DC Films’ latest entry in the (unofficially named) DCEU is struggling early on, as Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) is falling well below box office projections and will post a record-low opening weekend. The fortunes of DC on the big screen have changed more recently with Aquaman and Joker both crossing $1 billion, while Shazam! posted strong returns thanks to its lower budget.
With Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn leading Birds of Prey after being the standout character in 2016’s Suicide Squad (which grossed nearly $750 million), expectations for what the latest DCEU film could do were high. Still, official box office projections for the girl gang movie were more conservative, with the film estimated to earn around $50M in its opening weekend. After overwhelmingly positive reviews, Birds of Prey‘s financial success looked to be even more of a guarantee.
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The movie has only been out in theaters for one full day, but the early returns are not promising. The Wrap shared that Birds of Prey made just $13M on Friday, which brings the new projections for the film’s opening weekend to just $34M. This is far below previous projections and even WB and DC’s conservative $45M expectation. Barring an unforeseen surge on Saturday and Sunday, Birds of Prey will post the lowest opening weekend in the history of the DCEU – with Shazam!‘s $53M opening last year the previous low.
If these new projections prove to be accurate, Birds of Prey is going to need incredible legs at the box office to turn its fortunes around. Although this opening is well below what was expected, the budget of the film could ultimately save it at the end of the day. Birds of Prey reportedly has a budget of around $85-95M, so it should be able to turn a profit for WB and DC even if it can’t cross $300M worldwide. It should also be in Birds of Prey‘s favor that February is a bit lacking when it comes to major movies that can truly take the spotlight away from it.
All that said, Birds of Prey‘s disappointing opening weekend is one that inevitably will be dissected and discussed by many. WB and DC delivered an entertaining female-led superhero movie that spins out from a financially successful film, and yet the immediate response wasn’t what was expected. The decision to make Birds of Prey R-rated is one that will likely be questioned as it alienated a younger audience that could’ve bolstered the film’s box office. With positive critical and audience reactions to the film though, hopefully Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) finds its audience in the coming weeks.
Source: The Wrap
Key Release Dates
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
- Black Adam (2021) release date: Dec 22, 2021
- Shazam 2 (2022) release date: Apr 01, 2022
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
- The Flash (2022) release date: Jul 01, 2022
- Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
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