Things continue to look good for Birds of Prey. This is not only Margot Robbie’s return to the role of Harley Quinn for the first time since Suicide Squad in 2016, but it’s also set to be the first major comic book movie of 2020. Warner Bros. has rebounded in a big way since the release of Justice League and DC Films is on the right track. Based on the numbers, it looks like the studio’s upcoming release will keep that hot streak going.
Official box office tracking numbers for Birds of Prey have been revealed and it’s looking at an opening weekend take between $49 and $55 million. That puts it right in line with early estimates and could see it top Shazam, which opened to $53.5 million last year. That may seem, at least at first glance, relatively low for a big comic book movie, but it’s all relative. Given that the spin-off is said to have a budget in the $75 million range, the lowest of any DCEU movie so far, it doesn’t need to have a $100 million opening weekend to be successful.
It’s also worth pointing out that, in certain situations over the past handful of years, box office tracking has proved to be unreliable when it comes to anticipating demand. Specifically looking at the month of February, Deadpool obliterated expectations when it hit theaters in February 2016 with a $132.4 million opening weekend. Black Panther, similarly, completely took the industry by surprise with its record-shattering $202 million opening in 2018. Other movies such as Jurassic World and, relevant to this situation, Suicide Squad, have similarly topped estimates in recent years.
Warner Bros. has had a stellar run with DC Films over the last year or so. Aquaman went on to earn more than $1 billion worldwide and became the highest-grossing DC movie ever. Shazam, though not quite as successful financially, was a huge critical success and a very respectable $363.6 million worldwide. Both movies have sequels in the works currently. Joker, arguably the biggest success of the bunch, also topped $1 billion worldwide and recently earned 11 Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. The jury is still out on how critics and audiences will react to Birds of Prey, but the solid tracking numbers go a long way in continuing to reshape the narrative surrounding DC on the big screen.
Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) directs the movie with a script from Christina Hodson (Bumblebee). Margot Robbie is joined by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Rosie Perez as Renne Montoya, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain and Ewan McGregor as the villain Black Mask. With any luck, we’ll ve hearing some early critical reactions sooner rather than later. Birds of Prey is set to hit theaters on February 7. This news comes to us via Deadline.