Warner Bros. simplified the Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) title earlier this week to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. Since then, the studio has issued a reason for the change, while social media mocks the idea altogether. The movie hit theaters over the weekend and did not come close to meeting the studio's expectations. Early estimates had the Harley Quinn-led movie to land in the $50 million range, with the studio aiming for around $45 million. In the end, $33 million was all Birds of Prey could scrape together at the North American box office, even with positive reactions from fans and critics.
The Birds of Prey title change occurred earlier this week and Warner Bros. has broken their silence on the matter. According to the studio, the title change was made in order to expedite "search expansion for ticket sites." That certainly makes sense since the original title was way too long. However, there weren't many people who were searching for the over the top title to begin with. Instead, they were searching for Harley Quinn. It's also important to note that the title change is only for online vendors and will not show up in publicity for the movie.
Since Warner Bros. changed the Birds of Prey title, social media has had a field day making fun of the decision. As is the case with most DC fans, people believe that Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn should have been placed front and center for the publicity materials and title. Quinn is the draw and has been from the start. One fan had this to say about the title change on social media.
"WB really should change the name to 'We f***ed up not marketing this as a solo Harley Quinn movie and introducing the Birds of Prey so now we have to change the title so people know what it's really about'"
Many feel that Harley Quinn should have been the focus of the movie and not just the publicity materials. With that being said, the movie is still getting good reviews from critics and fans, leading the studio to look for other reasons the movie isn't doing the kind of box office numbers that it should. Changing the Birds of Prey title for ticketing searches is a good start and may have led to the 57% increase in ticket sales from Monday to Tuesday.
Birds of Prey has only made a little over $35 million domestically since opening last week. The movie has done decently overseas with $46.5 million, bringing the worldwide total to $81.6 million. The budget for the project is reportedly in the $84 million range, so the studio has push a little harder to get fans into theaters. Will the title change have a big effect on things? We'll just have to wait and see. The Warner Bros. comments were originally reported by The Verge.
WB really should change the name to “We f*ucked up not marketing this as a solo Harley Quinn movie and introducing the Birds of Prey so now we have to change the title so people know what it’s really about” pic.twitter.com/0POw8fUcD8— Superman81 (@ManOfSteel37013) February 10, 2020
IT DOESN'T NEED TO HAVE BIRDS OF PREY IN THE TITLE AT ALL!— 💝🍫🦑❤️🦑Hearts, Chocolates and SQUIDS🦑❤️🦑🍫💝 (@RainbowSquidInk) February 11, 2020
JUST CALLED IT THE RISE OF HARLEY QUINN OR SOMETHIN'! https://t.co/67kFNkVB1L
In order to more confidently boost box office, we would like to inform you that the title of the film has been changed to HARLEY QUINN: MEDICINE WOMAN— Nat Brehmer (@NatBrehmer) February 11, 2020
Harley Quinn: Live. Die. Repeat.— Daniel K (@DSK_Daniel) February 11, 2020
#BirdsofPrey saw an increase on Tuesday up 57% from Monday with $3.4M— Television & Movies 🎥🎞️🎬📽️ (@tvs_movies) February 12, 2020
Online poll showed over 30% people didn't know it was a Harley Quinn & DC movie When they announced title change. If growth continues 2nd weekend could go as high as 20-25 mil.#HarleyQuinn@HarleyMovieNewspic.twitter.com/EaMmnjcYkK
Birds of Prey is getting a title change. It's gonna be called"Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey"— CBM CRINGE (@CBMCringe) February 10, 2020
If they're gonna rename it why not call it "Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey"
“Wait is this the Harley Quinn movie?!” - apparently confused or disinterested movie goers that actually facilitated a post release movie title change pic.twitter.com/LUCWmd3m4o— Author Brad Acevedo (@wolfsoul4) February 12, 2020
Didja know they had to change the title to put Harley Quinn’s name first Just In Case people didn’t know it was a movie about her.....damn the advertising team for this movie did a crap job— 🧬queer🌲cryptid🛸 (@calicoqueer) February 12, 2020