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Box Office Breakdown: “Birds of Prey” Flightless On Opening Weekend

Oscar weekend didn’t feature too many new offerings to the box office with only one big release poised to challenge for dominance, DC and Warner Bros. newest collaboration “Birds of Prey”. After weeks of success by Hollywood holdovers the second weekend of February 2020 didn’t bring in big numbers but the award season buzz did at last get people out to the cinemas. So, let’s see who won out on Oscar weekend in this week’s Box Office Breakdown.

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Despite positive audience and critical reviews DC and Warner Bros. “Birds of Prey” failed to take flight bringing in only $33.25 million, well below nearly all expectations including conservative estimates of $40 million and studio expectations of $45-$50 million. It was enough to top the box office easily but also the lowest opening take of any movie in the DCEU to date. The $85 million films is a spiritual successor to the poorly received “Suicide Squad” and may have suffered from a slew of setbacks including a poorly timed release on Oscar weekend, an R-rating in a mostly PG-13 genre and being a female-led picture in a genre traditionally driven by male interest. Despite its slow start audiences and critics both gave the film scores in the mid-to-low 80s on RottenTomatoes making it one of the best reviewed films in DC’s recent catalog. Overseas “Birds of Prey” brought in another $48 million from 78 markets. You can read my weekend review of “Birds of Prey” here.

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That was pretty much the biggest story of the weekend really as far as the box office goes seeing as “Birds of Prey” was the only new wide release film. The entirety of the rest of the top ten were all holdovers. “Bad Boys for Life” continued its strong run with a $12 million weekend and second place finish becoming one of the highest grossing January releases of all time. At $166 million domestically after four weekends and over $336 million worldwide it has its eyes set on becoming the first true January release to top $200 million at the domestic box office. While “American Sniper” also accomplished that record it was a 2019 release expanded in January for award season. Three-time Oscar winner “1917” continued to hold strong in third followed by “Dolittle” and “Jumanji: The Next Level”. Just outside the top ten was “The Gentlemen” and “Gretel & Hansel” finishing where they sat last week. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” moved up a couple spots to eighth while Oscar contenders “Little Women” and “Knives Out” rounded out the top ten.

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It’s going to be a busy weekend of new releases, but I may be a little slow on offering my takes as I will be going on a much-deserved vacation. I’ll still be seeing some movies, as I like to go to theaters wherever I may travel, but don’t expect much from me in the way of reviews. Debuting for Valentine’s Day weekend will be four new options, the Universal romantic flick “The Photograph”, the comedy remake “Downhill”, Sony and Blumhouse’s horror take on the classic television show “Fantasy Island” and Paramount’s cinematic take on “Sonic the Hedgehog”, a production that made waves last year after the studio completely redid the character’s design following fan backlash. We’ll see if any of them can topple “Birds of Prey” this time next week.

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