Major theater chains have changed the title of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey in their online movie listings, ticketing apps, and marquees after the superhero film brought in a disappointing box office last weekend.
Despite having a solid 80% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film only grossed $33 million at the North American box office in its opening weekend, coming up short against investors’ $50 to $55 million projection. Though the poor showing was most likely due to the movie’s adults-only “R” rating and the audiences’ unfamiliarity with the film’s heroes, its long and confusing title didn’t seem to help as well. So Warner Bros. asked exhibitors to change the title of the movie on their websites and displays to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey.
While Harley Quinn is not as popular as the members of DC’s Justice League, the character is a comic book icon with a loyal fan base, so putting her name up front in the new title might give the film its much-needed box office boost. Also, placing Harley Quinn’s name at the beginning of the title gives moviegoers an idea of what the film is all about right away.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) remains the movie’s official title. The name change, as explained by a Warner Bros. representative to The Verge, is just part of a “search expansion for ticket sites,” so people can find the movie more easily online. In other words, it’s just a display change to help with SEO optimizations, searches, and ticket reader boards.
Directed by Cathy Yan, Birds of Prey stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollet-Bell as Black Canary, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, Ali Wong as Ellen Yee, and Ewan McGregor as Black Mask.