By Rebecca Rubin
LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) – “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” flew much lower than expected in its debut, collecting just $33.25 million from 4,236 U.S. theaters.
The sequel to 2016’s “Suicide Squad” — seeing Margot Robbie reprise her role as Harley Quinn- now holds the ignominious distinction as the worst opening from any film in the DC Extended Universe.
That’s somewhat of a surprise, since reviews for “Birds of Prey” were much stronger than its predecessor, which debuted with $133 million. However, “Suicide Squad” was rated PG-13 and boasted higher-profile comic-book characters like the Joker. Birds of Prey” wasn’t expected to reach those figures since it’s rated R and stars mostly unknown antiheroes, but it was on course to make around $50 million heading into the weekend.
“Birds of Prey,” which cost $80 million before accounting for global marketing and distribution fees, could rebound over coming weeks since there’s not much direct competition.
The film also opened overseas, generating $48 million from 78 international markets. But in parts of Southeast Asia, fears of coronavirus are impacting moviegoing.
As this weekend’s only new movie, “Birds of Prey” easily topped box office charts. After three weeks as reigning champ, Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life” dropped to second place with $12 million. The threequel, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, has made an impressive $166 million to date.
Ahead of Oscar nominations, Universal’s “1917,” widely seen as this year’s best picture frontrunner, landed at No. 3 with $9 million. The Sam Mendes-directed World War I epic has brought in $132 million.
Universal also nabbed fourth place with “Dolittle” pulling in $6.6 million in its fourth weekend of release for a domestic tally of $63 million. Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” rounded out the top five, pulling in another $5 million. The sequel has generated $298 million since debuting in December.