Despite strong reviews from critics, Birds of Prey had a disappointing opening weekend at the box office. The film grossed an estimated $33.2 million in its first three days of release, which is the worst opening for any DC Extended Universe to date. The previous low was Shazam’s $53.5 million — which means Birds of Prey didn’t even come within $20 million of it. The film also opened with almost exactly $100 million less for its first weekend than Suicide Squad, the film that it was spun off from. There’s a chance Birds of Prey winds up becoming the first DCEU movie to gross less than $100 million in the United States.

There might be several reasons the film struggled at the box office. For one thing, while Suicide Squad made a ton of money, it was not popular, and the fact that Birds of Prey looked a lot like it might not have been a selling point for potential audiences — particularly potential audiences that just saw a much darker and bleaker side of DC with JokerSuicide Squad also had other bankable stars — notably Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis, among quite a few others — while Birds of Prey was really sold entirely on the presence of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. And while Birds of Prey’s R-rating and surprisingly graphic violence might have endeared it to people who did see the film, it also might have kept away Harley Quinn’s younger teen fans.

Here was the full box office top five for the weekend:

  1. Birds of Prey - $33.2 million
  2. Bad Boys For Life - $12 million
  3. 1917 - $9 million
  4. Dolittle - $6.6 million
  5. Jumanji The Next Level - $5.5 million

It will be interesting to see how this opening affects the future of the DCEU. Warner Bros has Wonder Woman 1984 later this year, and they’re still making another Suicide Squad with James Gunn, but the enormous success of Joker — a film set totally apart from the rest of Warner’s superhero movies — might convince them to eventually abandoned their shared cinematic universe and instead make one-offs that appeal to a more adult fanbase. Given the box office results of Joker versus Birds of Prey you could hardly blame them for doing that.

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