Warner Bros’s latest superhero movie Birds of Prey has been retitled to incorporate its lead character, Harley Quinn, after bombing at the box office on its opening weekend.
The film, which is a spin-off of the DC Comics supervillain film Suicide Squad (2016), debuted in the United States at $33 million, well below its expected target of $45 million. Its international gross wasn’t much better at $48 million, meaning the company may struggle to break even on its $80 million production budget.
Producers were likely hoping to piggyback after the success of Suicide Squad, which amassed an impressive $746 million worldwide gross. Birds of Prey is based on Suicide Squad‘s breakout star, the nihilist Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie), although this fact is not clearly reflected in much of the film’s advertising.
The film’s original title was technically Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), although its adverts have simply labeled it as Birds of Prey. Yet it now appears that producers believe its failure to promote Robbie’s character is a factor in the film’s lack of success, and have consequently renamed it Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey.
Whether the change in title will make any impact is yet to be seen. However, another reason for the film’s lack of success might be its predictable effort to appear “woke” by aggressively pushing political and feminist themes.
As explained by Breitbart’s John Nolte,
The terms of Birds of Prey aren’t hard to figure out. In this #MeToo era, where misandry is acceptable, even championed, you know everyone with a penis is either going to be a sexist, a sociopath, a rapist, or all three…
The plot’s timeline opens by leaping all over the place, a jumble and an obvious attempt to juice a lifeless plot. And while I have no evidence to back this up, the whole thing reeks of desperate reshoots.
As far as the action, in-between our heroines complaining about terrible men, it’s almost non-stop. But because you know the girls will prevail there are no real stakes, which makes it monotonous and numbing.
At one point, the film even indicates that Quinn voted for Democratic presidential hopeful and avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). In one scene, villain Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor) is holding her captive. As Quinn explains her relationship with Sionis and how she might have repulsed him, the phrase “Voted for Bernie” briefly shows up on the screen.
Should you remain undeterred, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey is showing in theaters nationwide.