Are cinemas too advanced

Threatening "Birds Of Prey" flop: Was it that again with blockbusters by and with women?

"Birds Of Prey" is currently (as of February 21, 2020) with a worldwide box office of almost 153 million dollars. The $ 250 million goal set by studio sources so that Warner at least doesn't lose money seems within reach. But one thing is clear: “Birds Of Prey” will no longer be a real success.

"Birds Of Prey" would have to record that much to be a success after all

But what impact does this failure have on the future? Will Hollywood studios in general and Warner in particular now only rely on male main characters and male filmmakers again? No.

In 2020 there will be three films by female directors in the cinema that focus on either superheroes or a diverse ensemble: "Black Widow" by Cate Shortland (German start date: April 30th), "Wonder Woman 1984" by Patty Jenkins (June 4th) and "Eternals" by Chloé Zhao (November 5th).

Of course, work on these films was well advanced before the failure of “Birds Of Prey” was in sight. But there are also numerous other projects in development: “Birds Of Prey” author Christina Hodson is writing the scripts for “The Flash” and “Batgirl” and Kevin Feige is looking for a director for “Captain Marvel 2”.

And that shouldn't change for the time being, at least as long as “Black Widow”, “Wonder Woman 2” and “Eternals” don't flop too, which is very unlikely.

What Marketing To Blame?

The problem with “Birds Of Prey” wasn't that the main character Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and the Birds Of Prey didn't have enough charisma or that director Cathy Yan's film wasn't good enough to attract masses of viewers to the cinema, as also emerges from the analyzes in the major US industry magazines.

On the one hand, many experts rather blame marketing for the film's mild start.One could have noticed beforehand that the title is not ideally chosen and does not necessarily reflect the focus of the film.

And although the author of these lines had a lot of fun with the two trailers for "Birds Of Prey" (as well as with the film itself) and especially the second trailer also gives a good impression of the style and structure of the film, they never came well received everywhere - neither in the FILMSTARTS editorial team nor on the internet.

Maybe it would have been a good idea to market “Birds Of Prey” rather than “Deadpool from DC”. The two "Deadpool" films were huge successes and certain similarities cannot be dismissed out of hand: Meta-humor, Deadpool and Harley as unreliable narrators and of course the US age rating for adults.

What is the age rating to blame?

And this is exactly where the US analysts see another problem. Such as Deadline other Forbes write, Harley Quinn has many young, female fans who have been deterred from going to the cinema in the USA by the so-called R-Rating (access only from the age of 17 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian).

In the USA in particular, the R-Rating has a very high stigma; many parents do not go with their children to such films, which are often only shown in the evening. This is where the difference to such successes as "Captain Marvel" and "Wonder Woman" lie, which were also accessible to younger fans.

Was that it now with R-rated superhero films?

And in fact the failure of "Birds Of Prey" could most likely still have an impact in this area. Even if the successes ("Deadpool", "Logan", "Joker") still predominate in recent years: Warner and other studios could think twice about which adult-rated films they are making.

However, that would also affect the more distant future. The upcoming DC movie "The Suicide Squad" by James Gunn is apparently also supposed to have a US age rating for adults and we can't imagine that anything will change.

"Suicide Squad 2" is also only for adults

There is probably too much trust in James Gunn, who brought Disney two big hits with “Guardians Of The Galaxy” and “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2”. And for that, brutal action and swear words are too much part of the concept of "Suicide Squad 2" to simply cut out to achieve a lower rating.

We will then know more details by summer 2021 at the latest: “The Suicide Squad” will start in US cinemas in August 2021, the German date should not be too far away from that. “Birds Of Prey”, on the other hand, has been in German cinemas since February 4, 2020.

Harley Quinn looks so different in "Suicide Squad 2"

"Birds Of Prey" in the podcast Canvas Love

We also talked about “Birds Of Prey” in our FILMSTARTS podcast love of the screen on the occasion of the cinema release. You can listen to or download our controversial discussion about the quality of the film and the future of DC below:

Canvas love on Spotify
Canvas love on Deezer
Canvas love at Apple
Canvas love for downloading