Cathy Yan’s highly-anticipated Birds of Prey cost around $80m (£62m) to make and was projected to take $45m (£34.8m) to $55m ($42.6m) at the box office.
The opening is quite shocking when you consider that Warner Bros. had little competition from other films this weekend and released the title on over 4,200 screens. That’s a record-breaker for the month of February. Even more than Marvel opened Black Panther on back in 2018.
The opening weekend numbers come as a surprise given the enthusiastic critical responses. Many praised Margot Robbie’s performance as well as the energetic fight sequences and colourful costume design. It has an 83% Rotten Tomatoes score.
Prior to this Margo Robbie appeared as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, a film which had a record-breaking $133.6m ($103.6m) opening.
It’s possible the film’s R-rating held back younger female audiences from being able to enjoy the film.
The Birds of Prey comic writer Gail Simone has criticised the film’s depiction of the character of Cassandra Cain. While in the original comics, Cass struggles with speech, reading and socialisation, this aspect of her character was largely missing from the film. Simone detailed in a Twitter thread that she sees this as a “missed opportunity”, adding “I love Cass dearly, and this is not a Cass I recognize.”
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