Birds of Prey struggled in its opening weekend at the box office more than anybody was expecting. A number of different theories have been put forth suggesting why that may have been, and while many of them might play a small part in the low box office, one of Harley Qunn's comic writer is taking issue with one of the theories, that the character on the big screen is a significant departure from the version that comic book fans know and love.
Jimmy Palmiotti, who has been writing Harley Quinn comics for most of this decade, took to Twitter to defend the Birds of Prey version of the character from those who claim that Margot Robbie's portrayal is in any way significantly different from the comic version. If anybody feels otherwise, he invites them to actually read the comics.
How a popular comic book character is brought to life on the big screen is always a topic of debate among comic book fans. Does a particular actor look right? Is the personality really the same? There are always going to be differing opinions, but Jimmy Palmiotti certainly believes that the version of Harley Quinn we see in Birds of Prey has a lot in common with the character as he has been writing her.
Of course, comic book characters pass through many hands throughout their lives. Jimmy Palmiotti hasn't been the only Harley Quinn writer, and characters can go through pretty significant changes when writers change. Still, if you're a fan of Harley Quinn in the comics now, then this is the version you're a fan of.
At the same time, it doesn't seem likely that the adaptation is the real issue with Birds of Prey's rough box office. The simple fact is that most of the audience that makes superhero movies a success have never read a comic book in their lives, and so they would never know if Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn was a faithful adaptation or not.
Harley Quinn wasn't even born in the comics. She was a creation of Batman: The Animated Series back in the '90s, and she became so popular that she found life elsewhere. Most people who knew the character prior to the Suicide Squad movie probably knew her from there.
Birds of Prey's low box office is all the more interesting considering it comes despite solid reviews for the movie. DC movies overall have been doing well both with critics and at the box office recently and this is really the first time of the current generation that we've seen generally positive critical response met by an apparently uninterested audience.
Whatever the reason for the box office struggle, it's possible that the movie could still make some headway in the next couple weekends, when there aren't any major competing releases hitting theaters. We'll have to wait and see.