Director Cathy Yan was disappointed with the box office performance of her movie Birds of Prey during its opening weekend.
The comic book adaptation, starring Margot Robbie, was released in February, and despite high expectations from the director herself and bosses at Warner Bros., it made just $33.3 million (£27 million) in North America in the first weekend, the lowest opening for a DC film since Jonah Hex in 2010.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Yan admitted the movie struggled under the weight of the “undue expectations” placed upon it.
“I know that the studio had really high expectations for the movie – as we all did. There were also undue expectations on a female-led movie, and what I was most disappointed in was this idea that perhaps it proved that we weren’t ready for this yet,” she shared.
Yan, the first Asian woman to direct a DC film or any U.S. superhero film, also candidly admitted that her ethnicity and gender felt like an “extra burden” on the female-fronted movie.
“That was an extra burden that, as a woman-of-colour director, I already had on me anyway,” she stated. “So, yes, I think there were certainly different ways you could interpret the success or lack of success of the movie, and everyone has a right to do that… But, I definitely do feel that everyone was pretty quick to jump on a certain angle.”
Robbie reprised her role as the unhinged DC Comics character Harley Quinn for Birds of Prey, which saw her join forces with a group of women to overthrow Gotham City’s crime lord Black Mask.
Since its disappointing opening weekend, Birds of Prey has gone on to make more than £200 million (£163 million) at the worldwide box office. After the cinemas closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Warner Bros. executives decided to bring the film’s at-home release forward, and it will be available to view digitally from 27 April.
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