Box Office Data Prove It Wasn’t Men Who Tanked ‘Birds Of Prey’

Article here. Excerpt:

'Hollywood has yet to learn its lesson that audiences want to be entertained, not lectured. The release of a new movie Friday, “Birds of Prey,” thrust this lesson into the spotlight when the film didn’t do as well as expected — and, of course, men were to blame.
Tracking the film ahead of release, industry experts expected it to do a healthy business, predicting it would earn at least $50 million on the opening weekend. Instead it took in far less, opening with only $33 million. As the studio grappled with what transpired and how this assured hit went sideways, some in media activist circles had little trouble coming up with a cause. It was men’s fault.

Feminists didn’t hold back in accusing misogyny. If only men were not such an infantile sex, they could open themselves up to the possibilities of women being strong characters on screen, goes the narrative.
The first problem they run into: Men did in fact turn out to see the film. Audience measurements showed that more than half of the film’s attendees were males, at 54 percent. Claims that male entertainment writers were unfairly dumping on the film also fail to land, as Rotten Tomatoes sports a very strong 80 percent, with a matching audience score. Any harsh criticisms were surely drowned out by praise.

So absent sexist excuses, what went wrong? The first issue is the basic fact that the movie content was muddled. This film centered on Harley Quinn but was named after her support staff, who were not so prominently featured. Some were confused by Quinn’s presence, while others felt she was in a reduced role. This is evidenced by the fact that Warner Bros. later retitled the film “Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey.”'

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