Despite the film being in the midst of its theatrical run, Warner Bros. has made the decision to rename the box office flop that was once known as Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn — or its abridged and more commonly used title, Birds of Prey.
Warner Bros. has not explained the reason for its decision yet; however, of the eight DC Extended Universe (DCEU) films, Birds of Prey — correction, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey — had the worst opening weekend to date, pulling in only US$33 million domestically.
The Cathy Yan-directed film pulled in $81 million worldwide, just short of breaking even with its $82 million budget, according to Variety.
Though it didn’t perform so “fantabulously” at the box office, Birds of Prey has garnered generally positive reviews from critics, with an even warmer reception coming from comic book fans and movie-goers alike — prompting much confusion about Warner Bros.’ recent decision.
The Verge reported that renaming the Suicide Squad (2016) sequel might have been an effort to make the film more SEO-friendly — meaning it’s marketed to be found as simply as possible through online search engines.
Seeing as Harley Quinn is the main character and an already well-known comic book character, the outlet suggested that it would make more sense for audiences to search for “Harley Quinn” as opposed to “Birds of Prey” if they were unfamiliar with the film.
In honor of ‘Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn’ changing its name to ‘Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey,’ we decided to come up with some more SEO-friendly movie names. #SEOaMovie pic.twitter.com/aQK0Kh5r5b
— The Big Picture (@TheBigPic) February 11, 2020
This, however, doesn’t seem to be the case — at least not yet — in select Canadian theatres, such as Landmark Cinemas and entertainment giant Cineplex. The former currently has the R-rated flick listed as simply Birds of Prey.
Cineplex, on the other hand, told Global News its still in the process of updating the title, but in the meantime, uses the entirety of its lengthy name.
Global News has reached out to a representative of Warner Bros. seeking comment.
Birds of Prey is now playing in cinemas across Canada. You can see the trailer in the video above.
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