Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is changing its name to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey on all theater chain sites after a struggle to fly at the box office in its opening weekend. The R-rated DC Comics movie, which had a lesser budget than most other major comic book films from DC or Marvel, opened to only $33.2 million at the domestic box office. Other R-rated comic book films in recent years such as Deadpool and Joker opened to more than $130 million and $90 million, respectively. Birds was not expected to reach such heights but was projected to earn closer to $50 million in its debut.
Conversations have swirled online about why Birds of Prey was not met with huge ticket sales in theaters of the first weekend in February, with much of the speculation pointing towards the R-rating hindering a younger audience from buying tickets. The film was met with impressive reviews, getting certified fresh on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. It would seem the film was intended to be an R-rated romp but may have tested better with younger audiences, therefore never released a red band trailer or embraced its sometimes violent, often foul-mouthed adventure in its marketing.
ComicBook.com was among those offering up positive reviews for Birds of Prey. "The next step for DC films shows that the comic brand has an arsenal of characters that are tremendously interesting and should be explored further, but it does leave a lot of meat on the bone by focusing so heavily on the surefire box office draw that is Harley Quinn," the official review reads. "The film starts off slowly and finds its stride in the second act, with McGregor’s villain being the entertaining standout while underutilizing some of its other more interesting characters...It is entertaining and a great starting point for some new characters on the big screen."
Regal Cinemas and AMC Theaters have already updated the title to reflect the Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey title. Tickets are available from the theater chain, now.
Warner Brothers has not responded to ComicBook.com's request for comment at the time of publishing.
Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey is now playing in theaters.