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14 February, 2020 05:35:41 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 February, 2020 01:01:41 PM
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‘Birds Of Prey’ Failed To Utilize The Unique Appeal Of Harley Quinn

Independent Online/ Forbes
‘Birds Of Prey’ Failed To Utilize The Unique Appeal Of Harley Quinn
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor, right, in a scene from "Birds of Prey." Photo: AP

For whatever reason, Birds of Prey failed to fly at the box office this weekend.

Birds of Prey, which is an R-rated movie, opened to $33.2 million in the US, which is many millions below projections. It's the worst start in the history of the DCEU movie franchise, but that's not a great comparison as Birds of Prey is also the first R-rated movie in the DCEU.

Analysts have pointed the finger at the film’s marketing, the cluttered title, the R-rating, and the lingering stench of Suicide Squad as potential explanations for the disappointing numbers.

It’s likely a combination of these factors, particularly the R-rating. But from a story standpoint, there wasn’t much substance, nothing to discuss after the credits roll.

Birds of Prey might be a fantastic action film, but Harley Quinn’s personality should have left more of an impression; the character is far more interesting than what the film makes her out to be.  

Margot Robbie was perfectly cast as Harley, but after Jared Leto made a laughing stock out of the Joker, his removal from the franchise severely limited Harley’s story.

Harley’s struggle to disconnect herself from a poisonous human being, her battle against her own worst impulses, is what makes her so sympathetic.

Without the presence of her toxic ex, Harley’s complexity is diminished. She is no longer the girl struggling with herself, questioning why she put up with an abusive relationship for so long, and why she feels compelled to return. Instead, she’s a one-dimensional hot mess. 

Funnily enough, this is exactly how Harley was conceived, as the sexy crazy girl, introduced as Joker’s lovesick sidekick in Batman: The Animated Series. After proving popular with fans, she stuck around, and subsequently, her personality evolved, flourishing after breaking up with the Joker. 

Ideally, a sequel would have fleshed Harley out, and depicted her messy confrontation with the Joker, but after that disappointing debut, she might not get the opportunity. And that would be a tremendous shame; perhaps the Birds of Prey should never have been connected to Harley, to begin with; it seems as though Warner Bros. wanted to introduce a new, relatively unknown superhero team with the help of Harley Quinn.  

But by trying to kill two birds with one stone, they might have just missed them both.

Birds of Prey star Margot Robbie is also a producer on the movie, recently foreshadowed this change in an appearance on the Hot One's podcast.

Asked what the most nerve-wracking part of being a producer is, Robbie said, ''it's watching the first-week box office numbers come in because, at that point, there is almost nothing you can do to improve the fortunes of a film. A marketing change might help things, but it might not be enough, she said. This very marketing change is now happening.''

In an attempt to draw in new viewers, the new DC Comics movie Birds of Prey has changed its name following its slow start at the box office.

The movie is changing its theatrical name from Birds of Prey to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey but this is only the theatrical name; the official title remains the same.

TH

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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