Tsing

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Image: Warner Bros.



2016’s Suicide Squad was somewhat of a critical and financial flop for Warner Bros. and the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), but its latest spin-off, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) has managed to fare even worse.



Despite early projections of $50 to $55 million, the female superhero team-up flick earned only $33.2 million during its initial debut this weekend. That makes it the worst opening of all time for a DCEU film, second only to 2010’s Jonah Hex, which opened to an embarrassing $5.3 million.



As of Sunday, Birds of Prey has made $81.2 million worldwide, but the domestic result remains significantly lower than what Warner Bros. had hoped for. The film did cost around $100 million less to make than...
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SeymourGore

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I'm curious to see if this is a Birds of Prey-specific flop or a sign that superhero movie popularity is on a downward trend.
 

Dan_D

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I'm wondering if the trailer is the problem. I haven't seen the movie, nor had I seen the trailer until just now. I was afraid the film was going to be super woke when I heard the synopsis of it a few months back. I can't really remember what the synopsis was beyond Harley breaking up with the Joker and working with the characters seen in the trailer.

I just watched the trailer, and the movie looks cheap. I can't tell if it wants to be serious or funny. There appears to be a musical number in the trailer which causes me to have flashbacks to Ghostbusters 2016. I don't really see anything enticing about the movie. That said, I know a couple of people who have seen it and said it was actually pretty good and that it isn't woke at all. Professional reviews are trash, so I don't pay attention to those but the general audience scores seem decent for the few people who have been willing to give it a chance.

It may not just be the uninteresting trailer that's at fault here. It may come down to the fact that all the female centric movies that have been done recently have been absolute trash and people are afraid this one will be just as bad. I think people have gotten tired of it and assume (just as I did here) that anything female centric will be anti-male. Like it or not, the fact of the matter is that the main consumer of comic book based films are males in a specific age range. I think we've now become conditioned to be weary of any all female film.

The sad thing is, that this is the exact genre where an all female cast can really work and draw in crowds of both men and women. Unfortunately, all the female centric and anti-male movies that have been made over the last few years has drive all the men away in a genre where something like this would have been an almost guaranteed success story about five years ago.

The blue checkmark crowd, feminists, SJW's, and anyone else with a rabidly anti-male agenda has effectively done more harm than good and if this is in fact a decent movie, it will stand as proof of that. Of course, the people responsible for churning out the toilet logs of cinema that we've seen lately won't see it that way. Ghostbusters 2016, Charlie's Angels, Terminator Dark Fate etc. don't stand as proof of this concept nearly as well. Those films have other issues that compound their problems and their poor acceptance.

Ghostbusters 2016 was a bad movie for reasons I don't want to get into. The characters being female were actually the least of the films problems. Charlie's Angels was boring, badly written and overall bland. It didn't have a good or likable cast, no griping story and of course, it was infused with identity politics to its own detriment. Terminator Dark Fate is one of the few films I think genuinely suffers from franchise fatigue. Not because there are too many films necessarily, but because the batting average for them has been abysmal. Mediocrity is the best you can hope for out of a Terminator film beyond the first two installments. Dark Fate **** on the characters in the first two movies and was far too derivative. To an extent, that's what we have here with Birds of Prey.

Of course, I haven't seen Birds of Prey myself, but I trust the opinions of people who I know that have seen it. If it is at least decent, then unfortunately, the reasons for its horrendous performance at the box office will not be understood by Hollywood. The liberal media and SJW fanatics will double down on their accusations of sexism, racism or any other isms they think will stick. They will fail to realize that all the bullshit politics they've been shoving down our throats has blown up in their collective faces. Consumers have been burned too many times by anti-male films with female centric casts. We've seen men demonized far too long in these films and enough is enough. Add to that the fact that DC's box office performance has had more ups and downs than a roller coaster ride.

DC's burned comic book and movie fans way too many times. Let's look at the facts. In the DCEU alone, we've had a number of films.

Man of Steel - Mixed response
Batman v Superman - Poor response
Suicide Squad - Mixed response
Wonder Woman - Well received
Justice League - Poor response
Aquaman - Well received
Shazam! - I'm unsure on this one. I think it was decent, but it doesn't fit the tone of the other films and I'm not sure it attracts the same audiences. It's also clearly geared for younger viewers than the rest of the series. While there are nods to the other films, it stands alone.

Money wise, it's been a crap shoot to say the least. Some of the films have done well, but only Aquaman was a stellar performer that's on the level of a Marvel movie. Once you factor in marketing and distribution, the other films have been mediocre to poor performers at the box office. Birds of Prey is on track to maybe double it's budget worldwide. That may not be enough to actually turn a profit. If it doesn't start doing better in the U.S., it's going to be an outright flop.

Of course, it's possible that comic book fatigue is starting to set in and this film's performance could be in part a sign that this is the case. Most of the major blockbusters over the last decade have been Marvel films. Those movies have also set an impossible standard where anything outside of a comic book movie has to meet unrealistic expectations of crossing a billion dollars in revenue, or studios don't want to deal with it. Except Netflix, they'll make anything. Right now studios don't want to bet on anything that isn't a sure thing. Of course, female centric is what's in as far as they are concerned, but audiences have had enough.

If this is a good movie it will be a shame that its performing so poorly. I think it's a combination of factors that have led to its poor reception. If people aren't going to theaters to even see it, then there are a lot of things going on. Other DCEU films like Batman V Superman were bad, but people went to the theater to see it. The drop offs are how you know it was poorly received. But initial financials for it looked good. This one isn't even making it out of the gate it seems.

I'd say watching how the media handles this will be interesting but it won't. The headline is that men are sexist and aren't seeing the movie because of the female cast. Every other factor that plays into how this is performing will go unnoticed.
 
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Peter_Brosdahl

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Have to say the wife and I are loving the animated series on DC. Definitely not for kids and we're pretty sure there's more than a few people from Venture Bros involved. Doubt we'll see this until its on cable/streaming. Honestly could care less if it was a man, woman, or anything else, just didn't seem like a movie needing to be made.

I agree with @Dan_D. DC has burned the fans too many times now. On the best day their overall efforts get mixed responses. Most are not going to take a chance unless it looks really good. I doubt WW 1984 will do as well as the first but we'll see. Doesn't have to do with sex it has to do with making uninteresting movies.
 

Denpepe

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I go and see on average less then 1 movie a year in the theatres, and if I had not seen the poster on the oscars page yesterday I would not have even known it was a "superhero" movie due to the awfully chosed title (which due to it's lenght will almost always be shortenedd to birds of prey), not that that would make me go anyways.

I have seen some of the DC movies, but was not that impressed by them though WW and Suicide Squad are woorth a watch

Last year I seen 2 movies actually Once upon a time in Hollywood and the latest Star wars both of which I actually enjoyed.
 

Grimlakin

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I've not had any desire to see this movie. Yea the Harlequin character is interesting in the Animated series but they also made sure to never leave out the sexy. I don't see that in the current one. IT's more like they want a female non regenerating Deadpool than they want to make her, her own character.
 

MacLeod

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It's a flop for the same reason Charlie's Angles and the new Terminator was a flop. Woke, SJW, man hatin', girl power action movies simply don't sell. They just come off as silly. Yeah action movies have always been over the top but watching Jason Statham beat the crap out of 15 guys at once is just cool because you can almost believe he could do something like that. A 120 pound fashion model beating down 200 pound men in cringe worthy fight choreography just makes your eyes roll to the back of your head.

You can make solid action movies with female leads like Aliens, Terminator 2 and so on but those movies were great because the female characters were high quality, well written and well acted and were there to drive the story, not to force feed a political agenda down your throat.
 

Dan_D

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Nevermind. It's apparently ****.

 

Dan_D

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I've not had any desire to see this movie. Yea the Harlequin character is interesting in the Animated series but they also made sure to never leave out the sexy. I don't see that in the current one. IT's more like they want a female non regenerating Deadpool than they want to make her, her own character.
Harley isn't an interesting character in my opinion. She's certainly entertaining at times, but she isn't interesting. Once you know her back story you find out there isn't much else to her. There is a certain , sassy and sexy charm to most incarnations of her. In live action, these qualities only come through to varying degrees. She's not nuanced, deep or multi-faceted. The only time we've really seen any depth to her is in Batman the Animated Series which is the show she was created for. The episodes where we see and learn new things about her were all written by the guy who created her in the first place.

Her depictions in other media tend to focus on her interactions with other people and even her relationships with them. But we never learn anything new about her, nor does she ever grow or change. It's a character literally defined by her relationships with others. She's defined by her abusive relationship with the Joker. When you take that away, there isn't much to see outside of some girl on girl action with her and Poison Ivy, or Catwoman.
 

Peter_Brosdahl

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Her depictions in other media tend to focus on her interactions with other people and even her relationships with them. But we never learn anything new about her, nor does she ever grow or change. It's a character literally defined by her relationships with others. She's defined by her abusive relationship with the Joker. When you take that away, there isn't much to see outside of some girl on girl action with her and Poison Ivy, or Catwoman.
Funny you should mention that. Pretty much the bulk of the animated DC series is about that. So much that quite a bit of dialogue with Poison Ivy revolves around examining that and Ivy desperately trying to push her beyond it. I'm shocked to say it but Kaley Cuoco and her team seem to have a better grasp on it and in doing so trying to find a way out of the rut. I think Paul Dini even has some involvement here and there as well.
 

DejaWiz

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Out of that list, I really liked Suicide Squad, loved Wonder Woman, and thoroughly enjoyed Shazam.

The others...meh.


DC just lacks the "oomph" factor when it comes to making most of their movies, IMO.
 
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