‘Bird of Prey’ Fails to Take Flight with $13 Million Friday Opening

     February 8, 2020

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Warner Bros. is facing a major setback this weekend as its latest release, the DCEU flick Birds of Prey, has failed to make an impression at the box office. Well, technically it’s making an impression, but it’s not the one the studio was likely hoping for. The Cathy Yan-directed film, based on the characters in the DC Comics Birds of Prey franchise, stars Margot RobbieMary Elizabeth WinsteadJurnee Smollett-BellRosie PerezElla Jay BascoEwan McGregor, and Chris Messina. All the star power plus Robbie’s return as the charming hellion Harley Quinn should have gotten folks to hustle into theaters, right?

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Image via Warner Bros.

Not so much. According to early Saturday morning reports on Friday’s box office results, Birds of Prey only managed $13 million domestic, which includes the $4 million earned during Thursday night previews. Birds of Prey averaged $3,075 per theater and opened on 4,236 screens nationwide. Overseas, the film opened in some major European, Central/South America, and Asian markets. Birds of Prey opened to number one in its top five markets, which include Russia ($1.6M), the U.K. ($1.2M), Mexico ($1.2M), Brazil ($1.1M), and Australia ($991K). All told, Birds of Prey earned $7.5 million internationally since opening midweek, bringing its global total to $20.5 million as it heads into the weekend. Expectations on the female-led DCEU pic’s earnings will likely be adjusted as we brace for a $35 million opening rather than the hoped-for $45-50 million opening weekend we thought would happen earlier in the week.

Post-opening, it’s still unclear why Birds of Prey is taking such a big hit at the box office. The film scored plenty of praise from critics and audiences alike. Critically, the film earned a B+ CinemaScore and an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Reviews for the film have given a thumbs-up to the bright, zany, energetic aesthetics and pace of the picture and applauded the cast’s performances. There have been some notes in reviews on inconsistencies in screenwriter Christina Hodson‘s script, with the plot’s focus occasionally wandering to and fro but not so much that it’s a life-ending detriment to the movie. In his review of Birds of Prey, Collider’s own Matt Goldberg noted Birds of Prey “plays like a film that’s struggling to have a clear idea of what it wants to be” while also commenting that “Robbie’s Quinn remains outstanding and one of the finest realizations of a comic book character.”

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Image via Sony Pictures

As for the rest of Friday’s top five movies at the box office, it’s nothing but the usual suspects. Bad Boys For Life comes in at number two with $3 million domestic on its third Friday. The third Bad Boys film dropped 42% from last week. The drop shows in its per theater average of $858 from 3,530 screens nationwide. Number three pic 1917 earned $2.3 million for Universal on Friday, bringing its domestic total up to $126 million. 1917 dipped a tiny 17% from last week, making its number three spot well-deserved. At number four is fellow Universal release Dolittle, which dropped 25% and earned $1.5 million on Friday. To date, the Robert Downey Jr. flick has earned $59 million. Finally, going strong at number five is Jumanji: The Next Level. The Sony Pictures feature has been in theaters since December 13 and shows no signs of losing it’s high-ranking slot with $1.2 million earned on Friday — a mere 18% dip from last week. To date, the Jumanji sequel has earned $294 million domestic and has a global total of $757 million.

For more, check out our interviews with the Birds of Prey cast and director Cathy Yan. Plus, read up on our explainer on the Birds of Prey credits scene.

Rank Title Friday Total
1. Birds of Prey $13,025,000 $13,025,000
2. Bad Boys For Life $3,030,000 $157,352,207
3. 1917 $2,320,000 $125,862,909
4. Dolittle $1,470,000 $58,769,985
5. Jumanji: The Next Level $1,240,000 $294,170,411

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