Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Photo: Warner Bros.

All the trappings of a popcorn-slinging blockbuster are here: complex heroes, indulgently evil villains, stellar fight choreography, Mary Elizabeth Winstead wielding a goddamn crossbow. The early box office projections originally pegged a respectable $50 million opening weekend gross to DC’s Birds Of Prey . Well, the weekend has come and gone, and while the color-popped comic book riot did top the box office, it only managed to gross a little over $33 million stateside. BOP’s opening weekend still outperformed that of Jonah Hex, but it is far from the smashing success that that DC has come to expect over the years. There’s a tremendous amount of speculation surrounding the R-rated film’s unfortunate failure to inspire the same turnout that helped its parent film, Suicide Squad, become a box office juggernaut (a rating, by the way, that didn’t hurt Deadpool or Joker one bit). Whatever the reason, it’s a shame that we can’t insert a throwaway joke about BOP’s not-so-guaranteed sequel here. Instead, here’s what Katie Rife had to say about the seriously fun flick in her review:

Robbie was the breakout star of Suicide Squad, and she knew it. So she parlayed that particular trip down leering-butt-shot lane into a producer role on this film, exerting heavy influence over the hiring of the film’s director, a relative newcomer named Cathy Yan. But while Birds Of Prey favors bulletproof vests over push-up bras, Harley’s sassy, impulsive, playful, and, yes, sexy essence remains intact. The film (which was also written by a woman, Bumblebee’s Christina Hodson) demonstrates its feminist bona fides without making a huge deal out of it, treating solidarity among women as a given and adding knowing flourishes like an already famous hair tie moment to its surprisingly gory action scenes.

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Following BOP is the formerly reigning Bad Boys For Life as it tosses another $12 million atop the steadily growing pile. There’s a chance that it could cross the $200 million domestic threshold before taking its final bow, but the future of the franchise is far from contingent upon that as the industry machine is already working diligently on the next installment, per The Hollywood Reporter. Another film that can finally relax: Universal Pictures’ 1917, which ended this awards season with a third-place box office spot, an additional $9 million in its pocket, and three freshly polished Oscars for its trouble. Rounding out the top five is a double shot of nostalgia with Dolittle ($6.7 million) and Jumanji: The Next Level ($5.5 million).

This Valentine’s weekend brings besotted moviegoers a few options. There’s Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield’s unrelentingly romantic The Photograph, or the thriller Fantasy Island. There’s also a rather quick-footed blue hedgehog that may or may not be dropping by the theater, but you’d have to catch him first.

For a more in-depth analysis of this weekend’s box office, visit Box Office Mojo.

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