I genuinely don’t know how you could have seen even a second of advertising material for Birds of Prey and not realized that Harley Quinn is a major part of it, but apparently Warner Bros. would really like to remind you.
In the wake of Birds of Prey’s box office debut—which, despite laments that it may not have met Warner Bros.’ expectations and debuted to the smallest opening weekend of the latest iteration of the DC movie universe in the U.S., still saw it take the number one spot this weekend, and with international hauls, is on track to make back its $84 million budget—it seems the studio is hoping to goose the interest of fans of one of DC Comics’ most beloved anti-heroes of the moment to drum up ticket sales.
Although simply referred to as Birds of Prey, the film’s full title, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) might be getting a slight rework to something Harley-forward and much simpler: Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. Several chain theater websites, including Regal and AMC, reflected the title change over the weekend, suggesting an official alteration rather than individual efforts by theaters to remind the world in a less wordy fashion that Harley Quinn is in this movie.
It’d make sense—Birds of Prey’s warm critical reception has consistently highlighted Robbie’s madcap performance as Harley, a turn that drives the film so much it is almost to its detriment, taking some of the spotlight sheen away from the titular DC hero team in the process. As charmingly quirky as the film’s extended title is, putting it first and foremost that this character people know and love is the star of the film might be a good way to attract audiences who may not have realized that the One Good Thing to have come out of Suicide Squad is back at it at the box office.
Whether the title change will be seen beyond theater websites remains to be seen—when contacted by The Verge, Warner Bros. simply stated that the name alteration was for the purposes of “search expansion for ticket sites,” rather than a reflection of a complete marketing redirection. io9 has reached out to Warner Bros. for a comment on the title change and the studio’s reaction to Birds of Prey’s debut, and will update this article if we hear back.
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