Following the disappointing box office numbers for the opening weekend of Birds of Prey, fans of the film have taken to blaming the entirety of ‘men,’ rather than the overall production, for the film’s poor performance.

Despite the film receiving generally positive reviews from critics of both genders almost across the board, fans were quick to accuse men of refusing to see the film because of their inherent misogyny:

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Others falsely generalized that men were refusing to see the film solely in protest of the female cast not being “sexualized.”

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The scapegoat of a lack of sexualization was also put forth by Punisher co-creator Gerry Conway, who described the supposed lack of desire by “young men” to see the film as “crass, horrible, shallow.” He also stated that the “desexualizing” of the team’s members as “in the abstract, and politically, this is good.”

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However, despite these misandrist excuses, various news outlets including Deadline, Forbes, and Yahoo! Entertainment have attempted to analyze the reasons behind the film’s poor showing and have not identified ‘men’ or ‘misogyny’ as a factor. In fact, men made up 53% of the total opening weekend audience according to Deadline. They also reported that men over 25 were a plurality of the audience with 33%.

Most analysts cite the film’s lack of Joker or Batman, massive deviation from the comic book source material, being a sequel to the atrocious Suicide Squad film, and R-rating as some of the major causes behind the lackluster opening. As summarized by Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro:

“As the old saying goes, goods movies sell, bad movies don’t. And the latter is what really happened here with Birds of Prey at the end of the day.”

The film’s hardline feminist marketing may have also played a significant role in driving audiences away.

Ewan McGregor, who plays the film’s villain, Black Mask, routinely touted the “feminist” messaging of the film, even stating that the film would take on “everyday misogyny, of those things you say as a man you do not even realize, [such as] mansplaining.”

Margot Robbie, who stars as Harley Quinn, described her costume as being specifically “less male gaze-y”.

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.