Saturday, April 13, 2024

Box Office: Warner’s “Birds of Prey” with Margot Robbie Flies Low with $13 Mil Opening Despite Solid Reviews


The DC Comics universe continues to struggle at the box office.

Warner Bros’s “Birds of Prey” took in $13 million on Friday night including $4 million from Thursday previews. Ouch. A total $33 million weekend awaits them, much much lower than the hoped for $50 million.

Margot Robbie stars as Harley Quinn, who appeared in “Suicide Squad” and was such a hit as a secondary character with Jared Leto as the Joker. Their chemistry was off the charts and would have made for a great movie. But Leto got iced out of playing the Joker again once Joaquin Phoenix was slotted in for the current movie. That left Robbie/Quinn on her own.

The problem there is that the character is not well known enough to carry a whole film. The title doesn’t even explain that it’s Harley Quinn. Outside of hardcore enthusiasts, the attraction isn’t there. The movie had decent reviews, and Robbie has an Oscar nomination, plus she’s very high profile from “OnceĀ  Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Bombshell.” But none of that is enough.

So “Birds of Prey” — which could attract the Audubon Society by accident, from the title — is a failed launch. If only Leto had been included despite Phoenix, since director Todd Philips didn’t want “Joker” to be part of the DC Universe. Well, whatever. Cesar Romero neverĀ  had these problems!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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