Birds of Prey’ Makes A Shaky the Box Office

Margot Robbie’s superheroine spinoff “Birds of Prey” is landing with a somewhat disappointing $34 million opening weekend at 4,236 North American sites, estimates showed Saturday.

The figure deflates hopes that “Birds of Prey” will become a hit. It’s significantly below Warner Bros.’ pre-release forecast of $45 million while rivals had “Birds of Prey” pegged for a $55 million launch. Friday’s take totaled $13 million (including $4 million in Thursday previews) with opening day audiences giving the film a B+ Cinemascore, with audiences under 25 awarding it an A-.

“Birds of Prey,” which carries a reported $80 million price tag, centers on Robbie’s vigilante Harley Quinn teaming up with superheroes Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to save Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) from the crime lord Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). Reviews were generally favorable and led to an 82% “fresh” Rotten Tomatoes score.

“Birds of Prey,” the eighth entry in the DC Extended Universe, had arrived as a buzzy title. Robbie earned an Oscar nomination a month ago for “Bombshell” and carried residual goodwill for her freewheeling performance in “Suicide Squad” as a deranged criminal and partner to Jared Leto’s Joker character. “Suicide Squad” opened with $133 million and grossed an impressive $746 million worldwide despite downbeat reviews.

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Early international results for “Birds of Prey” have also been short of sensational, with $10.3 million on Friday from 78 markets, bringing the international total to $18.1 million. “Birds of Prey” is directed by Cathy Yan from a script by Christina Hodson. Robbie, who originated the idea for the movie while working on “Suicide Squad,” is a producer, along with Bryan Unkeless and Sue Kroll.

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