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Why ‘Birds of Prey’ will likely overcome its R rating and be a box-office hit


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Why ‘Birds of Prey’ will likely overcome its R rating and be a box-office hit

“Birds of Prey,” which hits theaters on Friday, was made for $81 million, significantly less than other DC Extended Universe movies.”Justice League,” for instance, had a $300 million production budget.”Birds of Prey” could be held back at the box office by its R rating, but it doesn’t need to be a massive blockbuster to be…

Why ‘Birds of Prey’ will likely overcome its R rating and be a box-office hit
  • “Birds of Prey,” which hits theaters on Friday, was made for $81 million, significantly less than other DC Extended Universe movies.
  • “Justice League,” for instance, had a $300 million production budget.
  • “Birds of Prey” could be held back at the box office by its R rating, but it doesn’t need to be a massive blockbuster to be a success story.
  • It has received critical acclaim ahead of its release and has an 85% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” hits theaters on Friday, the latest R-rated DC Comics movie after the massive success of “Joker.”

Like “Joker,” which was produced for $55 million and grossed over $1 billion worldwide, “Birds of Prey” has a modest budget compared to many superhero movies. It’s significantly lower than the rest of the movies in the DC Extended Universe, which “Joker” is separate from. 

“Birds of Prey” was made for $81 million, a fraction of the likes of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League,” which means it can be a major success even if it doesn’t make as much money as those. “Batman v Superman” earned $873 million worldwide while “Justice League” grossed $657 million (a disappointing result considering its $300 million production budget).

Boxoffice.com is projecting “Birds of Prey” to make $42 million this weekend. It lowered its projection after the box office for Thursday night previews came in at $4 million, less than “Shazam!’s” opening weekend. It’s closer to Warner Bros.’ “Ready Player One,” which opened with $41.7 million.

However, ticket service Fandango said this week that “Birds of Prey” is outpacing “Shazam!” in advance ticket sales. “Shazam!” scored $53.5 million in its opening weekend, which would be a good showing for a R-rated movie with a modest budget.

Boxoffice.com chief analyst Shawn Robbins wrote that the movie’s budget “means it doesn’t need to open anywhere near ‘Suicide Squad’s’ $133.7 million weekend back in August 2016 to be considered profitable or a hit. That’s a key perspective to maintain here.”

“Birds of Prey” has received critical acclaim ahead of its release and has an 85% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.

USA Today called it an “entertaining lark that introduces a few good women —  and four-letter curse words — into the canon of Superman and Batman.” Variety praised the action sequences and wrote that director Cathy Yan “keeps it all hurtling along with impeccable ferocity.”

Warner Bros.’ DC movies have made a comeback the last two years under the leadership of DC Films boss Walter Hamada, who was hired in early 2018. “Aquaman” and “Joker” both grossed $1 billion globally, with the latter gaining a leading 11 Oscar nominations. “Shazam!” was a hit with critics and “Birds of Prey” is looking to be a success story, as well.

Still to come this year is “Wonder Woman 1984.” Next year, Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad, and the Dwayne Johnson-starring “Black Adam” arrive.

Below is every DC Extended Universe movie and how the budgets compare to “Birds of Prey” (numbers based on data from IMDb Pro):

“Man of Steel” (2013)

henry cavill man of steel



Warner Bros.


Budget: $225 million 

Domestic box office: $291 million

Worldwide box office: $668 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 56%

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)

ben affleck batman v superman



Warner Bros.


Budget: $250 million 

Domestic box office: $330.4 million

Worldwide box office: $873.6 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 28%

“Suicide Squad” (2016)

suicide squad



Warner Bros.


Budget: $175 million 

Domestic box office: $325.1 million

Worldwide box office: $746.8 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 27%

“Wonder Woman” (2017)

wonder woman



Warner Bros.


Budget: $149 million 

Domestic box office: $412.6 million

Worldwide box office: $821.8 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

“Justice League” (2017)

justice league



Warner Bros.


Budget: $300 million 

Domestic box office: $229 million

Worldwide box office: $657.9 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 40%

“Aquaman” (2018)

aquaman



Warner Bros.


Budget: $160 million 

Domestic box office: $335 million

Worldwide box office: $1.15 billion

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 66%

“Shazam!” (2019)

shazam



Warner Bros.


Budget: $100 million 

Domestic box office: $140.4 million

Worldwide box office: $364.6 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%

“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” (2020)

birds of prey



Warner Bros.


Budget: $81 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 91%

More:

Birds of Prey
DC Comics
Warner Bros.
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