Birds of Prey suffered a disappointing opening weekend at the box office. Despite landing in the top spot, the film underperformed by earning $33 million. Warner Bros. Pictures decided that being more upfront about what it considers to be the film's biggest draw might help. The film was at first titled Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Now it is appearing in theaters as Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. Time will tell whether rechristening the film has the desired effect. In the meantime, the switch is reminding fans of another movie that went through a name change, the 2014 sci-fi action movie Edge of Tomorrow.
That was its title in theaters, at least. The film, which stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, was titled All You Need is Kill in development, the same as the Japanese light novel that inspired it. Warner Bros. thought the word 'kill" had too negative of a connotation. Director Doug Liman didn't think the title was an accurate reflection of the film.
And so the studio brainstormed a new title. Liman wanted to title the film Live Die Repeat., but Warner Bros. decided to use that as the film's tagline instead. By the time the film hit the home media market, Warner Bros. had it both ways by giving it the name Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. Now the film is sometimes referred to as Live Die Repeat alone. The planned sequel will follow the same naming convention with the title Live Die Repeat and Repeat.
Warner Bros. isn't the only studio to attempt this kind of rebranding. When Paul Feig's 2016 Ghostbusters movie didn't hit the mark at theaters, Sony rebranded it for home media as Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.
Birds of Prey is different in that the film is still in theaters, but the goals behind the name change seem to be the same. Here's what fans are saying about it.
‘#BirdsofPrey (& the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn)’ has now been RE-TITLED by WB to ‘Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey’ in wake of it’s low box office opening.
The last time this happened was when ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ turned into ‘Live Die Repeat’ for home video release. pic.twitter.com/04UuBUmZYB— DR Movie News 📽 (@DRMovieNews1) February 11, 2020
Edge of Tomorrow trending because of the BOP title change, WB continues to embarrass us I hate it here pic.twitter.com/M3Vu37wj6x— donnia (@fincherism) February 11, 2020
Reminds me of the time WB changed the title of Edge of Tomorrow to Live Die Repeat way, way, way late after the film appeared in theaters. https://t.co/rJt80ypHOq— SJWJamesBond Wants Nazis Banned ︽✵︽ Agent of GIRL (@mvbrat91) February 10, 2020
Remember when WB had a hard time selling Edge of Tomorrow/Live Die Repeat.
It's that all over again, but this time it's more immediate?? https://t.co/1yvLPPvZ2C— Rendy Jones (@Rendy_Jones) February 11, 2020
I'm convinced Warner Brothers is the most incompetent film studio. The Edge of Tomorrow-esque name change for Birds of Prey is ridiculous. They greenlight a bunch of franchise films no one wants and don't advertise the ones we do. Ridiculous.— Mr. Good Boi (@ToonGuy1234) February 11, 2020
Repeating the Same mistakes
The “Edge of Tomorrow” mistake 🤷🏽♂️— Parsva (@Parsva_10) February 11, 2020
Boy, that was such a great film which was derailed at the box office by a vague title.
“Birds of Prey” is equally vague, especially for people who haven’t read the comics or don’t follow such side characters like Black Mask, Canary or Huntress. https://t.co/VFcPKJ7Zvo
But it's a good idea
Warner Bros. changing the name of Birds of Prey to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey is probably a good idea because they did the same thing a few years ago by changing the title of Edge of Tomorrow to Live, Die, Repeat and that film is now a cult classic— The Aussie Pooper 🐨 (@erijonb23) February 11, 2020
I’m glad this silly title change for Birds of Prey has Edge of Tomorrow trending. More people need to learn how dope that film is.— Teezy (@tanman1) February 11, 2020
Edge of Tomorrow: Birds of Prey
Edge of Tomorrow: Birds of Prey. https://t.co/qict1qCyfE— Flaurent Soki (@ChampagneSoki) February 11, 2020
pulling an edge of tomorrow
WB is pulling an Edge of Tomorrow / Live, Die, Repeat for Birds of Prey. Here's the name when we got tix for last night (left) and how it's being promoted now (right). pic.twitter.com/HoMhDBa6jz— Mike Futter (V.2020.42) (@Futterish) February 11, 2020