Nolte: ‘Birds of Prey’ Is Sixth Woketard Franchise to Die at Box Office

Margot Robbie in Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)
DC Entertainment

With a pathetic $33 million opening, Birds of Prey just became the latest feminist flop at the Hollywood box office.

Birds cost around $85 million to produce, and at least that amount to promote, so according to the accepted movie math, it will have to gross anywhere from $300 to $350 million worldwide just to break even. We don’t yet know how the foreign markets will embrace it, and without much competition in the coming weeks, Birds could tread enough water to not be a total humiliation, but…

This sucker was supposed to land anywhere from $50 to $55 million. Even the studio, Warner Bros., whose job it is to lowball predictions, said $45 million.

And that seemed very possible, at least until the actual votes were cast by ticket-buyers. And why shouldn’t it look like a big hit? After all, you have Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, who was by far the best thing in 2016’s Suicide Squad, which opened to $134 million despite terrible reviews. This unlikely DC Comics hit would eventually gross $325 million domestic and another $421 million overseas.

Despite no one claiming to like Suicide Squad (except for me), a hit is a hit is a hit…

Something else Birds of Prey had on its side was a win in the Rotten Tomatoes primary with a solid 82 percent fresh rating.

So what happened? What went so wrong?

Well, the Birds of Prey trailers were a problem. Style over substance. The entire exercise reeked of having a lot more attitude than wit or plot. There was a sheen of flop sweat all over it, the feeling everyone was trying a little too hard.

Another issue is that a character like Harley Quinn, a nihilist always putting on a flamboyant performance, is perfect for a supporting role, and a lot to take as the lead.

Moreover, as far as those “positive” reviews go, the overall Rotten Tomatoes score looked great… until you read the actual reviews. Most of them are more grudging than glowing. You see, there are two serious problems in the review community today: 1) Too many reviewers kiss studio ass to court favor, and 2) if the movie’s politics are “correct,” if it’s “woke” enough, it’s given a pass.

Anecdotally, let me add this: my Thursday night screening was 95 percent empty, and those who did show up were almost all young men. And I’m talking about young guys who wanted to see a sexy Harley Quinn in short-shorts and a truly edgy R-rated superhero actioner along the lines of Joker, Deadpool, and Logan. What they got instead was an appropriately-attired Harley Quinn and non-stop man-hating; not to mention monotonous action scenes and a plot so muddled it reeked of sweaty and desperate reshoots.

Rosie Perez, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Margot Robbie, and Ella Jay Basco in Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (Claudette Barius/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2020)

You’re probably wondering why Hollywood keeps doing this… Why do they keep making these woketard flops…

My guess is that at the height of the #MeToo movement, a bunch of these movies were somewhere in the pipeline, and a bunch of dumbass producers confused Twitter and CNN with real life — you know, confused a political movement with a change in thousands of years of human nature. The studios all wanted to jump on the #MeToo bandwagon, and so what we got was a pile of artless, sexless, joyless lectures. Heaven only knows how many more movies were affected.

Oh, look, this hashtag proves Americans want to have all their icons replaced by joyless feminists who hate on men, all men, and hate on the patriarchy because Harvey Weinstein is a pig and the Orange Man is Bad.

And so, before the Ghostbusters remake flopped, all these movies — Terminator: Dark Fate, Charlie’s Angels, Men In Black, and the latest Star Wars trilogy (which didn’t flop but did kill Star Wars as a film franchise), were infected with woketardity. And after it became obvious audiences hate this stuff, it was too late to pull back.

Allow me to close with something that I’ve said before and must be said again: Moviegoers, including male moviegoers, have never rejected female action heroes. From Pam Grier to Aliens to Resident Evil to a pre-woke Sarah Connor to Kill Bill to Wonder Woman to Mad Max: Fury Road to, to, to…

The issue is not gender. This issue is presentation.

We go to the movies to be thrilled, moved, sexually turned-on, laugh, taken away, and told we have it in us to aspire, to be better… We don’t go to the movies to be hectored by sexless harpies with a chip on their shoulder.

And now, with their joyless lecture and man-hating, the woketards in Hollywood have killed Birds of Prey, what could have easily been another lucrative franchise.

Moviegoers deserve better than this. And you know what? So do women.

 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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