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'Birds Of Prey' director says female-led film had "undue expectations" on it

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Birds Of Prey director Cathy Yan has spoken about the reaction the film’s box office faring, saying it had “undue expectations” on it.

  • Read more: 7 reasons to watch Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

The DC movie starred Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and saw her team-up with fellow women of Gotham in a fight against mob boss Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor).

The film was projected to make $110 million-$125 million (£89.7m-£101.9m) in its opening weekend worldwide, but instead took $81 million (£66m) with only $33 million (£26.9m) coming from the States.

“I know that the studio had really high expectations for the movie – as we all did,” Yan told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Cathy Yan, Birds Of Prey
‘Birds Of Prey’ director Cathy Yan CREDIT: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

She continued: “That was an extra burden that, as a woman of colour director, I already had on me anyway. 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.”

After Birds Of Prey was released in February, cinemas began to alter its title to help sell tickets. The film’s full title is Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn, but representatives from Warner Bros. said the change was to make it easier for fans to find the movie.

In a four-star review of Birds Of Prey, NME said: “[It] might not be DC’s first female-led comic book movie, but it certainly is its goriest and most violent. If bloody brawls and faces being sliced off on camera are good enough for the boys, they’re most definitely good enough for the women too.

“Most of all, Birds Of Prey is riotous fun, peppered with moments of warmth and light amidst the brutality, and a breakneck race for survival with some of Gotham’s most badass broads.”

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