‘Birds of Prey’ Underwhelms with $33 Million Opening Weekend; Earns Unfortunate DCEU Title

     February 9, 2020

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Warner Bros. is getting some disappointing news this morning as we learn Birds of Prey, starring Margot Robbie as head mischief-maker Harley Quinn, underperformed big time during its February 7 opening weekend. The action-packed, female-led film from director Cathy Yan incorporates characters from the beloved Birds of Prey DC Comics franchise and features the star power of Ewan McGregorRosie PerezMary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Chris Messina.

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Image via Warner Bros.

Birds of Prey, which reportedly cost around $80 million to make, was expected to earn somewhere between $45 and $50 million. After Friday’s numbers, expectations were adjusted, with hopes for a $35 million opening weekend. Birds of Prey earned just $33 million domestic this weekend, less than the adjusted expectations following Friday’s $13 million opening. This makes Birds of Prey the DCEU film with the worst opening weekend. The Harley Quinn-focused film averaged $7,849 per screen and was shown on 4,236 screens nationwide. Overseas, the feature film opened to $48 million in 78 markets on 22,362 screens. The strongest turnouts for international viewers was seen in Latin America as well as the UK and Russia — traditionally strong locations for DC fans. The top five highest-earning markets were Mexico ($4.6M), Russia ($4M), UK ($3.9M), Brazi ($2.8M), and France ($2.7M). As it heads into its first full week in theaters, Birds of Prey‘s worldwide total sits at $81.25 million.

The Birds of Prey opening weekend numbers might come as a surprise considering initial critical reactions were enthusiastic. Praise was plentiful for the performances turned in by the cast, including Robbie, as well as the energetic fight sequences and vivid, lively sets and attention-grabbing costume design. Heading into its opening weekend, Birds of Prey was armed with a B+ CinemaScore and an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. All things considered, this unofficial Suicide Squad sequel (a film which opened to $133 million domestic and carried a PG-13 rating) was poised for success. However, it’s possible the film’s R-rating was more prohibitive than anticipated, holding back teens — and especially younger female audiences — from enjoying all the film had to say about championing female perspectives and showing women in their full power as DCEU heroes.

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Image via Universal Pictures

As we pan out, we see Birds of Prey still managed to come out on top this weekend, outdoing previous box office winner Bad Boys For Life, which came in at number two with $12 million domestic. The 35% dip from last weekend might have something to do with losing 175 screens nationwide, but Bad Boys For Life is undeterred as it averaged $3,401 per theater. To date, the threequel has nabbed $166 million domestic and has a worldwide total of $336 million. At number three is 1917, the Sam Mendes WWI epic poised to win big at the 2020 Oscars on Sunday night. The Universal release managed $9 million here in the U.S. this weekend and currently boasts an impressive $132.5 million domestic total. At number four is fellow Universal release Dolittle. Overcoming the sting of a near-universal pan from critics, Dolittle has triumphed once again with $6.7 million in its fourth weekend and brings its domestic total up to $64 million. Holding strong at number five is Jumanji: The Next Level, which added $5.5 million to its domestic total, bringing it up to a whopping $298 million as it passes nine weeks in theaters.

Elsewhere in the box office top 10, Oscar-nominated films Knives Out and Little Women hold strong in eighth and ninth place, respectively. Lionsgate’s runaway hit Knives Out earned $2.4 million this weekend, bringing its domestic total to $159 million. Little Women, which passed the $100 million domestic total mark earlier this week, brought in $2.3 million domestic this weekend. Guy Ritchie‘s The Gentlemen is holding on at number six with $4.2 million and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker make a now-rare appearance in the top 10 at number 10 with $2.2 million earned domestically.

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 and read our Birds of Prey review.

Rank Title Weekend Total
1. Birds of Prey $33,250,000 $33,250,000
2. Bad Boys For Life $12,005,000 $166,327,207
3. 1917 $9,000,000 $132,542,909
4. Dolittle $6,660,000 $63,959,985
5. Jumanji: The Next Level $5,530,000 $298,460,411
6. The Gentlemen $4,180,000 $26,851,981
7. Gretel & Hansel $3,510,000 $11,534,240
8. Knives Out $2,350,000 $158,941,650
9. Little Women $2,325,000 $102,673,143
10. Rise of Skywalker $2,226,000 $510,547,478

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