Why ‘Birds of Prey’ Whiffed at the Box Office

After the commercial successes of “Wonder Woman,” “Aquaman” and “Joker,” Warner Bros.

had been on a hot streak with its DC Universe.

Its latest comic-book offering, “Birds of Prey,” seemed to have all the ingredients necessary to continue that trend in the studio’s attempt to fashion an alternative to Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.But despite a solid reception, the R-rated superhero adventure — which puts the spotlight on Margot Robbie’s crazed baddie Harley Quinn from 2016’s “Suicide Squad” — stumbled out of the gate, debuting to $33 million in North America.

Those disappointing ticket sales were still enough to place first on domestic box office charts, though well behind Warner Bros.’ already cautiously low estimates of $45 million.

“Birds of Prey” failed to make up much ground at the international box office, where it launched with $48 million, bringing its global haul to $81 million.“They took a swing, and they missed,” said Jeff Bock,

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