The case of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is likely going to be one of the most talked about cases in superhero movie history. Why? Because there was hype leading into this, and it was a trend-setting film with it being the first female-team-led movie ever (not even Black Widow or Wonder Woman 1984 could say that). But despite the hype, the love of Harley Quinn and its progressive team behind and in front of the camera…the movie did lukewarm in the eyes of some.
Regardless of that though, the movie has been in theaters for over 6 weeks, and as Director Cathy Yan was more than happy to note on Twitter, the movie is now on Video On Demand for people to rent, download, or buy.
For one piece of less shitty news… Birds of Prey is officially out on VOD today. I hope it can bring just a little bit of laughter to you and your family during this time.
— Cathy Yan (@CathyYan) March 24, 2020
But what has made this movie such a curious thing to talk about?
At the time of this posting, the film had grossed $200 million at the worldwide box office. Which for most, would be a stunning achievement, especially given the rather low budget of the film. However, in the eyes of many, especially when compared to successes like Joker, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and others from the DCEU (and not even mentioning the MCU) they considered it less of a hit. Which is fair in context. The movie did make certain mistakes, including naming it Birds of Prey without mentioning Harley Quinn in the title (or not until the end of a ten-word title). This was even corrected in the second week of the box office after it was clear fans were confused by it.
Still, what has set off MANY people was that over the course of its time in theaters is that many, including many major publications, noted that the film was “a flop”. When clearly it wasn’t. A “flop” as it is known in the movie business means that the movie did not make back its money nor had a significant impact across the world. Birds of Prey DID make back its money, and its ratings on both Rotten Tomatoes and other metrics show that people who watched it, loved the film. In fact, the movie had a very passionate fanbase encouraging others to go and watch it.
The negative reaction has many rightfully pointing at male writers and critics who think that a female-led film can’t make money, even though that’s already been proven to be a lie. It also should be noted that Birds of Prey released at the beginning of the Coronavirus epidemic which definitely hurt its worldwide totals in certain places.
Regardless, if you are a fan of the movie, or you were waiting to get it digitally anyway, you can get it now on demand.