Our friends at ComicBook.com were the first to catch this late afternoon detail, but after an opening weekend that found Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) opening to lowest DC Film grosses since Jonah Hex at $33 million domestic and $48 million international, the title of the film has been changed to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey on all theater chain websites including AMC, Regal, and Cinemark.
There’s been no official announcement from WB as of yet, and as of this story going up there’s been no updates on Fandango, but clearly word must have come down pretty decisively after the actuals on the box office arrived today. There’s plenty of Monday morning quarterbacking that’s been done, and really started over the course of the weekend after the studio adjusted its projections for the film’s opening gross from $50-55 million down to $33 million after it opened to a $13 million dollar opening day.
Here at The Beat, we all seemed to collectively be fairly big fans of the film, with our own Hannah Lodge’s official review finding it messy, but a fun time nonetheless. But I couldn’t help but be struck by the fact that Harley, the most popular character in the bunch and clear lead of the film, just seemed buried by the title itself. And while I’m sure the R-rating was its own hindrance, the Birds of Prey branding didn’t quite have the same cachet with general audiences that something that immediately clued you into its star probably would have. Perhaps the extra subtitle just confused matters even further.
It’s pretty fascinating though, as I can’t say I’ve ever seen a movie change its title the week after its been released in theaters. We have examples like the recent Ghostbusters reboot that got renamed by the studio just before it was released (it’s now called Ghostbusters: Answer The Call) and of course, the blandly titled Edge of Tomorrow is commonly referred to as Live, Die, Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow after its home release. But this is the first time a title has been changed to reflect a disappointing first week’s box office haul.
Always something new in this business to say the least!