We are currently living in the Golden Age of superhero movies. Love it or hate it, that’s a fact. However, that doesn’t mean some failures or disappointments can’t sneak in during said Golden Age. There are more comic books out there than you can shake a stick at, and Hollywood is working to adapt virtually everything under the sun. But at the top of it all are the two titans: Marvel and DC. Every year, we are treated to at least one from each comics universe. This year saw the release of the fun film Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.
While the movie was released to generally positive reviews (78% on Rotten Tomatoes), its box office receipts were underwhelming. The studio seemed to have high hopes that this could be the next Deadpool, a film that broke $750 million worldwide. For Birds of Prey, unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Instead, it took in only $201.8 million worldwide. It’s not chump change, by any means, but given the age we live in, it was a bit disappointing.
But director of the film Cathy Yan expressed disappointment about one unique aspect.
“There were also undue expectations on a female-led movie, and what I was most disappointed in was this idea that perhaps it proved that we weren’t ready for this yet,” Yan told The Hollywood Reporter. “That was an extra burden that, as a woman-of-color director, I already had on me anyway. So, yes, I think there were certainly different ways you could interpret the success or lack of success of the movie, and everyone has a right to do that. But, I definitely do feel that everyone was pretty quick to jump on a certain angle.”
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I completely understand what she means. In all honesty, that’s one reason I was rooting for the movie. Not only did I think it was really fun, but there was nothing else like it. It was female-led, it was goofy, irreverent, gory, and had female creatives at the forefront. I wanted unique content like it to open the doors for more stuff with different perspectives. Sadly, with the film not going as well as they had hoped, the studio could very well infer audiences simply aren’t ready for this kind of thing.
But, of course, we do have to adjust our realities a bit. Ford v. Ferrari is a film that made $224 million of its nearly $100 million budget. At the end of the day, it made 2.3 times its production budget while Birds of Prey made 2.4 times its budget. And guess which movie is considered a success of the two?
While I have no insight as to whether or not either movie was profitable, it is interesting how the perspective changes for the comic book movie. What do you think of Yan’s comments? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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