‘Birds of Prey’ (Photo credit: WB).

After flying high with Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Joker, the Warner Bros DC Comics universe has plummeted to earth with Birds of Prey.

The Suicide Squad spin-off starring Margot Robbie as the ass-kicking Harley Quinn opened in the lower realms for the superhero genre last weekend.

Even so, the top 20 takings generated $13.5 million, up 7 per cent on the previous frame, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

André Rieu fans turned out en masse for his latest film and specialised titles The Lighthouse and For Sama opened strongly.

To give it the complete, mouthful of a title, the Cathy Yan-directed Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn rang up $3.8 million on 528 screens. Pro-rata, that is a bit more respectable than the $33.2 million US launch, which was well below the pre-release estimates of $50 million-$55 million.

The first superhero movie directed by an Asian female, co-starring a miscast Ewan McGregor as Black Mask, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary and Rosie Perez, it raked in a mediocre $46.5 million in 78 overseas markets, with Japan ahead.

All up, that points to a poor return for the studio’s investment – a production budget of $84.5 million after California tax credits, and a hefty P&A spend.

Wallis Cinemas programming manager David Simpson proffers three reasons for the under-performance: “Wrong date, wrong title and the MA15+ didn’t help.”

Sam Mendes’ 1917 ascended to $18.8 million after collaring $1.5 million in its fifth outing for Universal. The WW1 epic starring George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman has clocked $290.6 million worldwide.

Sony’s juggernaut Bad Boys for Life reached $16.4 million after adding $1.2 million in its fourth. The cop caper starring Smith and Martin Lawrence, co-directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, has hauled in $336 million globally.

André Rieu: 70 Years Young, which features concert highlights chosen by the maestro and his reflections on growing up in a musical family, his marriage, forming the Johann Strauss Orchestra and breakaway success of The Second Waltz, whistled up $1.2 million for Pieces of Magic Entertainment.

After a lousy opening weekend Roland Emmerich’s Midway is sinking fast, dropping by 39 per cent to $754,000. The WW2 adventure has generated $2.3 million for Roadshow.

Stephen Gaghan’s Dolittle advanced to $10.4 million after taking $689,000 in its fourth for Universal, outperforming the US’s $64 million.

Jay Roach’s Bombshell scored $486,000 in its fourth, bringing the total to $5.6 million for the Studiocanal release.

Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen has banked $13.3 million after adding $470,000 in its sixth for for Roadshow. The gangland dramedy starring Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding and Michelle Dockery has mustered a nifty $26.8 million after its second weekend wide in the US.

Greta Gerwig’s Little Women collected $461,000 in its sixth and $14.7 million for Sony Pictures. The romantic drama is a global hit, raking in $177 million.

Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse, a B&W horror/fantasy starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s, fetched $150,000 on 25 screens and $337,000 including previews and festival screenings for Universal.

For Sama, a feature documentary from Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, which recounts the former’s life through the civil war in Aleppo, Syria, nabbed $20,000 on 11 screens and $49,000 with advance screenings for Umbrella Entertainment.

It was an historic weekend at Cinema Nova as Parasite in its 33rd week surpassed Wes Anderson’s 2014 hit Grand Budapest Hotel to rank as the location’s highest grossing title ever.

“This demonstrates not only the resilience of the exhibition sector but also the role and value of the theatrical window – Parasite was only released on home entertainment platforms in the past week,” Cinema Nova CEO Kristian Connelly observed.

Bong Joon-ho’s multiple Oscar winner has delivered an impressive $2.85 million for Madman Entertainment.

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