‘Birds of Prey’ tops North America box office

Australian actor Margot Robbie at the World Premiere of the film ‘Birds of Prey’ in London this year. (AFP pic)

LOS ANGELES: For Warner Bros.’ new release “Birds of Prey,” the weekend brought good and bad news: It took in an estimated US$33.3 million to lead the North American box office, but fared poorly for a superhero movie.

The three-day estimate, from industry watcher Exhibitor Relations, marked one of the lowest domestic launches in years for a studio superhero film, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The film, starring Margot Robbie as former Joker girlfriend Harley Quinn, has drawn generally strong reviews. Young Chinese-American director Cathy Yan won a special Sundance award for her debut film, dark comedy “Dead Pigs.”

Sony’s action comedy “Bad Boys for Life,” with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as wise-cracking detectives, slipped just one notch after topping the box office for three straight weeks, taking in US$12 million.

Those two movies might have suffered a bit because this is Academy Award weekend, and viewers showed renewed interest in movies vying for the best-film Oscar on Sunday, starting with favourite “1917.”

The wrenching and technically impressive war film from director Sam Mendes earned $9 million for the weekend, down only slightly from the week before.

In fourth was another Universal picture, “Dolittle,” based on the children’s book about a veterinarian who can talk to animals. With a cast headed by Robert Downey Jr. and Emma Thompson, it took in US$6.7 million.

And in fifth, one spot up from the previous week, was Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level,” at US$5.5 million. It has Dwayne (“The Rock”) Johnson and Kevin Hart being plunged back into a dangerous video game world.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

  • “The Gentlemen” (US$4.2 million)
  • “Gretel and Hansel” (US$3.5 million)
  • “Knives Out” (US$2.4 million)
  • “Little Women” (US$2.3 million)
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (US$2.2 million)