Birds Of Prey Title Change: Here's What You Need To Know
Warner Bros. reportedly suggested the change to help improve ticket sales.
Lately there has been a lot of discussion around the reports about Birds of Prey movie changing its name to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, but there are some important facts to know about the switch.
Birds of Prey is not officially changing names. Instead, movie theatre chains across the US have opted to change the title that they display on their websites and other promotional materials in an attempt to draw in more people and make it extra clear that this is a Harley Quinn movie. This is happening in response to Birds of Prey's slow start at the box office. The idea is to give the movie a more eye-catching and recognizable name to attract new viewers. (It's also not the only movie to change names post-release, although it is rare.)
According to Deadline, the Warner Bros. distribution department made this suggestion to theatre chains in an effort to help with "SEO optimizations, searches, and ticket reader boards."
Some of the changes are happening behind the scenes, as searches for "Harley Quinn" on ticket-seller Fandango return results for Birds of Prey. Other theatre chains, like Regal, AMC, and Cinemark, have changed the name in a more upfront manner to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey.
Also worth mentioning is that the official title of Birds of Prey is actually Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), though most people and websites refer to it as simply Birds of Prey. This is similar to the Oscar-winning movie Birdman, which is actually titled Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) but is commonly shorted to Birdman.
Birds of Prey opened to $33.2 million at the US box office, which is the lowest box office number in the history of the DCEU. The movie, which is R-rated and released in the traditionally slow month of February, also had the lowest budget of any DCEU movie. Worldwide, the movie has made more than $81 million so far, which is close to its production budget (before marketing).
Birds of Prey star Margot Robbie, who plays Harley Quinn and is also a producer on the movie, recently foreshadowed the title change in an appearance on the Hot Ones show.
Asked what the most nerve-wracking part of being a producer is, Robbie said it's watching the first-week box office numbers come in, because at that point, there is almost nothing you can do to improve the fortunes of a film. A marketing change might help things, but it might not be enough, she said. This very marketing change is now happening.
"The most nerve-wracking ... probably the box office," she said. "At that point, you can't do anything anymore. You can pivot your marketing strategy a little bit but really there's not a lot you can do. You just hope people like it. You and so many people have spent so much time on something that you just want people to like it, or even see it."
In GameSpot's review of Birds of Prey, Meg Downey said, "It's the sort of kinetic, high energy romp that comes with built-in replay value, and proves exactly why Harley Quinn has become such an endearing, beloved character in the pop-culture pantheon. If this is the direction the DCEU is headed, the future's looking bright."
For more on Birds of Prey, find out more about the ending of the movie, whether or not Joker is in the movie, and the connection to Harley's first appearance in Suicide Squad.
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