The first big comic book movie of 2020 is here. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) brings back the most popular part of 2016's Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, and pairs her with a new team, introducing a host of DC comic characters, like Huntress and Black Canary to the big screen for the first time. The film's first screenings hit theaters last night, and if the initial numbers are any indication, it's going to be an even bigger weekend for the new film than previously thought.
Birds of Prey brought in $4 million on its first night in theaters, which, f that pace keeps up, puts the movie on track for an opening weekend that will end up between $50 and $55 million. This is good news for DC and Warner Bros. as Variety reports the studio was projecting a number around $45 million, so Birds of Prey looks like it may do better than anticipated.
Early tracking had Birds of Prey looking at an opening weekend between $40 and $60 million, so as far as that goes it's landing right where expected. WB was probably projecting on the low end of that range to be safe, and instead, it looks like it may land on the high end.
Having said that, the number will still be on the low side for DC Universe films. Shazam! opened to $53 million last year which is actually the lowest opening weekend to date for a DC movie in the current universe, and so even if Birds of Prey does really well, it will likely just barely beat that number. By comparison, Suicide Squad opened to $133 million in August of 2016.
Still, Birds of Prey has a reported production budget of only $84 million, less than Shazam!'s $100 million, and Shazam! still grossed over $300 million globally, so while Birds of Prey might technically come up short compared to similar films, it doesn't need to do nearly as well to actually be more successful financially for Warner Bros.
Regardless of what the numbers shake out to be, the word of mouth for Birds of Prey has been very strong, which might also help the long term box office. Reviews for the film have been incredibly strong overall, and the early buzz from fans who saw the movie last night has been equally positive. Birds of Prey co-star Jurnee Smollett-Bell, who plays Black Canary, took to Twitter last night to thank fans for the good word.
Regardless of what happens to Birds of Prey at the box office, we know this won't be the end of the road for Harley Quinn, she'll be back in The Suicide Squad next year. Whether the rest of the Birds of Prey will return, will likely depend greatly on those box office numbers.