Box Office: 'Birds of Prey' Flies Off Course With $13M Friday

Birds of Prey Costume Image 4 - Publicity - H 2020
Claudette Barius

Birds of Prey

The female-led DC pic starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is opening well behind expectations in the U.S.

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn flew off course at the Friday box office, grossing just $13 million for a weekend debut likely in the $32 million-$35 million range.

That figure is well below expectations for the Warner Bros. release and would mark the lowest start of any film in the DC Extended Universe. At the same time, the female-led superhero pic could make up ground over the upcoming Presidents Day weekend and in subsequent weeks.

One surprise: Birds of Prey skewed male on Friday (53 percent), according to leading exit polling service PostTrak. CinemaScore, which polls only a smattering of cinemas, showed a different result, with females making up 51 percent of its respondents.

Cathy Yan directed the Suicide Squad spinoff, which sees Margot Robbie reprise her role as Harley Quinn. DCEU newcomers Jurnee Smollett-Bell (as Black Canary), Rosie Perez (as Renee Montoya), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (as Huntress) and Ewan McGregor also star. Sue Kroll, Robbie and Bryan Unkeless produced the pic.

Birds of Prey has earned strong reviews, while receiving a B+ CinemaScore. One dampener could be the film's R-rating, which automatically makes it difficult for teenagers to partake. On Friday, 73 percent of ticket buyers were 25 and under, according to PostTrak.

Birds of Prey, which cost $85 million to make, is also opening in earnest overseas. In parts of Asia — including South Korea — the pic is being impacted by fears over the coronavirus.

Heading into the weekend, the DC movie had eyed a $50 million North American opening and $60 million overseas.

Birds of Prey is the weekend's only new wide release and will easily top the chart. Bad Boys for Life will come in No. 2 in its fourth weekend with a projected $12 million.

1917 is among several Oscar nominees enjoying a bump on the eve of Sunday's Academy Award ceremony. The World War I epic — a frontrunner for best picture — looks likely to fall just 5 percent this weekend with $9 million.

Parasite, another top Oscar nominee, is actually up this weekend by 11 percent as it grows its domestic total to $36 million through Sunday, one of best showings ever for a foreign-language film.