Article by Adam Poncharoensub
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) released earlier this year on February 7, 2020. Looking that up unsettled me momentarily, because remembering a life prior to the pandemic seems like a fantasy, at this point. Regardless, it was one of the few comic book movies that made it to theatres this year before the world shutdown. At the time, it grossed a total of $201.8 million against a budget of approximately $100 million. While it wasn’t the best box office for a DC live-action movie, but certainly not the worst. However, with Wonder Woman 1984 simultaneously releasing in theatres and on HBO Max on December 25, along with the rest of the DC movie slate of 2021, fans have taken to Twitter to celebrate. Birds of Prey is once again trending on Twitter, with fans marking it as the highest grossing comic book movie of 2020.
In my opinion, Birds of Prey is criminally underrated. The movie brought forth a newer dimension to Harley, moving away from the lovesick airhead from Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie is of course fantastic, as is Ewan McGregor as a flamboyant version of Black Mask. The flick was incredibly fun and very well shot. I can always point to two fantastic scenes in which Cathy Yan really showed her skill as a director; 1) The shot of Harley in the police station where she was framed by colored smoke (beautifully composed shot!), and 2) The tracking shot in the funhouse, where the camera moved between each Bird as they took down one of Black Mask’s goons. To this day, I will engage in verbal fisticuffs with anyone who says that movie isn’t good.
Birds of Prey wins 2020?
Despite fairly strong reviews, the box office performance indicated that not a whole lot of people went to see it. It was definitely a combination of things related to comic book movie fatigue, backlash against DC films, and obviously, the first signs of COVID-19. Also, February is usually a pretty weak month for movie releases in general. Most films with little to no anticipation are usually dumped in February. (In contrast to big hype movies which are released in Summer and the holiday season.)
Regardless, Twitter loves the movie and apparently, Birds of Prey was trending on Twitter on Thursday.
— Noah Levine (@ZProductionz) December 3, 2020
Over 1200 Tweets by 4:30PM EST. And who knows to what number it eventually soared.
And then a Twitter user finally declared it:
Birds of Prey highest grossing CBM of 2020pic.twitter.com/rX6I4PADY5
— damian⊗ (@damcanary) December 3, 2020
While it’s not the most earned victory, since next to nothing was released to theatres this year, it’s still a nice little accolade for a movie that nobody really paid attention to, and where many who did actively hated it. I like to call it the little movie that could, mostly considering it’s relatively small budget, that stupid title, and its bad release window.
What do you think? Did you enjoy BoP? Does it deserve this accolade? Let me know.
Birds of Prey is currently streaming on HBO Max.
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