Birds of Prey started rolling out in theaters last night and Warner Bros. reports that the film’s domestic take was $4 million. While that’s far beneath other R-rated superhero debuts like Joker ($13.3M), Deadpool ($12.7M), and Logan ($9.5M), keep in mind that Birds of Prey has to shake the baggage of Suicide Squad to be a soft-reboot of sorts that highlights the Harley Quinn character while also introducing the Birds of Prey. For comparison, Suicide Squad scored $20.5 million on opening night, but that was a PG-13 movie in the summer.
So what does this mean for the film’s opening weekend? The movie will probably land somewhere around the $40 million range. That being said, the film could easily have legs if audiences warm up to it, especially since it doesn’t have much in terms of competition in the weeks ahead with movies like Sonic the Hedgehog, Call of the Wild, and Fantasy Island trying to break through. I wouldn’t be surprised if Birds of Prey holds the top spot at the box office until February 28th when The Invisible Man comes along since it looks like an easy horror sell (whereas Fantasy Island has to overcome the hurdle of being based on a cheesy TV show, but now it’s a horror film).
As for how this performance bodes for future Harley Quinn or Birds of Prey movies, that remains to be seen. Personally, I’d like to see more of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, especially if they move forward with something like Gotham City Sirens that pairs her with Poison Ivy and Catwoman. You could even have them taking on Batgirl (while it would be nice to have them fight against Batman, WB knows that Batman is DC Comics’ crown jewel and given the reception of the Ben Affleck Batman movies, the studio is probably wary of ever putting the character in a supporting role again).
However WB chooses to proceed, I hope that Birds of Prey has a good weekend because while I had some issues with the movie, I like these characters and I want to see them again in a sequel or spinoff of some kind.