Movies & TV / News

Birds of Prey Director Weighs In On The Film’s Disappointing Box Office

April 6, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Birds of Prey Margot Robbie Harley Quinn

While Birds of Prey wasn’t a bomb, its box office was less than most expected and the director has addressed that in a new interview. Cathy Yan spoke with THR for a new interview in which she was asked about the film’s gross, which started at $33.3 million in its opening weekend — well below the $45 million it was targeted at.

“I know that the studio had really high expectations for the movie — as we all did,” Yan said. “There were also undue expectations on a female-led movie, and what I was most disappointed in was this idea that perhaps it proved that we weren’t ready for this yet. That was an extra burden that, as a woman-of-color director, I already had on me anyway. So, yes, I think there were certainly different ways you could interpret the success or lack of success of the movie, and everyone has a right to do that. But, I definitely do feel that everyone was pretty quick to jump on a certain angle.”

The film ended its theatrical run a tiny bit early due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a final gross of $84.2 million domestically and $201.8 million worldwide. That number may be buoyed a bit by the fact that it released early on VOD through the “Movies At Home” initiative that’s all the rage.

Yan also discussed the reaction to the film, which has been largely positive, saying, “What was definitely beyond expectations was some of the positive stuff, such as the real global reach of the film and getting really wonderful notes from people around the world who felt like they were seen for the first time in a movie like this. They felt like they could identify with the characters on screen, even though they were in a heightened world — a world with stocked grocery stores. (Laughs.) It was still a world that was very aspirational. A lot of people — especially a lot of women and younger people — really felt like their voices, their type of people, they themselves… were represented for the first time on the big screen. When we first set off to make the movie, making some of those choices — whether it’s in casting or even in the way the characters look or dress — was somewhat deliberate, but I didn’t really think about the global impact of those decisions. So, that was really nice.”