Birds of Prey (and the too-long subtitle) is in theaters as we speak (write?) and its opening weekend has been a mix of good and bad news for DC and Warner Bros. The good news is the film got a solid critical and audience response on Rotten Tomatoes with an 80% and 83% respectively. The film is certified fresh, which has been difficult for WB and DC to obtain in the past. The bad news is the film came in below expectations at the box office with a mere $33.2 million. Our own Emmanuel Gomez took a dive into the film’s performance HERE. While RT is often accused of bias, and used to be the target of review bombing, CinemaScore is usually looked at as a decent gauge of a film’s quality. They’re a bit more scientific than RT and Birds of Prey got the dreaded B+…
Why is a B+ a bad thing? Well, it usually means that the audience is nearly indifferent to the film. It’s a mediocre score, all of the B’s are in my opinion, and that can spell doom for a movie. Even the 83% score from RT is mediocre. It’s almost worse to be “meh” than be bad. These scores could make many people feel it’s not worth the money to see in theaters and wait for home video release. Combine this with the R rating, meaning many parents would have to spend money on babysitters to go see it and without stellar reviews, they may also choose to wait. I know that’s how I make choices with my wife about which films to see without our son. I need confidence that I’ll love the film to spend $100 for a movie night (that’s the babysitter plus movie tickets and concessions).
There are people that enjoyed the film, see Fox Troilo’s review in the link above, and people that hated it. One common complaint deals with the films handling of male characters. I haven’t seen the film myself, but I have read comments relating the film to 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot. Even Grace Randolph felt that the movie had a “men are bad” mentality. If this is true, it’s another example of Hollywood virtue signaling and looking to punish men for the perceived sins of the past. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and considering males make up 50% of the population, berating them for two hours isn’t going to appeal very well.
I’ll see the film, eventually. I am not passing personal judgment, but I do think a score in the low 80s or in the Bs is a bad spot to be. It doesn’t scream “Come see me!” If you saw the film, let us know what you think about the scores in the comments below!
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