Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a mouthful of a movie title, and recently, it’s had a not-so-great start at the box office. So Warner Bros. has decided to give the film a facelift, by way of a new title for it to be listed as at theaters, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey.
While a movie getting a name change as it’s in theaters seems like an abnormality–whether it’s an official name change by the studio or movie theaters rebranding it–it’s something that has happened a few times in the past. Whether it be a way for the studio to try and get a boost out of the box office or just a way to categorize a movie, here are a few name changes from the history of cinema.
The most notable name change for a film is the 2014 Tom Cruise sci-fi blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow. While filming, the movie had the same title of the book it was based on, All You Need Is Kill. Warner Bros. famously changed it to Edge of Tomorrow after filming wrapped, and director Doug Liman wasn’t a fan of that, as he felt it didn’t fit the tone of the movie, according to an interview with Den of Geek. He wanted Live Die Repeat, and after Edge of Tomorrow had a rough start at the box office, the “Live Die Repeat” title was tagged onto the end.
“They started titling it the title I always thought it should have, which is Live Die Repeat,” explained Liman. “But they tiptoed around it, and when we make the sequel, it’ll be permanently titled Live Die Repeat.”
This one is a little bit of a cheat. 2016’s Ghostbusters always had the full title of Ghostbusters: Answer The Call, but the movie marketed the movie simply as “Ghostbusters.” Even the title at the beginning of the film lacks the “Answer the Call” tag. However, this tag was added on earlier simply for Sony to catalog its movie.
“It was basically the studio realizing for the video catalogs, and that kind of thing, [there would be] two Ghostbusters. And I didn’t want to make it like 2016,” director Paul Feig told io9. “That sounded like Airport ‘77. The next year, you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s an old movie.’ I didn’t want to have to anchor with that, so they basically said they liked [Answer the Call].”
There have also been changes for movie titles years down the road. 1977’s Star Wars became Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Raiders of the Lost Ark became Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark for the obvious reasons of connecting the movies to its sequels.
Movie title changes are pretty common when it comes to pre-production of a film. For example, one of the most notable changes was the film $3000–which refers to the amount needed to buy a prostitute–which was retitled Pretty Woman. This was done because $3000 is a pretty terrible title for a movie. At times, films also get working titles while in production to throw people off. Director Christopher Nolan did this with his Batman followup The Dark Knight, filming under the guise of Rory’s First Kiss. Would fans rather stakeout the set for a movie about a first kiss or Batman punching people?
Birds of Prey & DC News
In GameSpot’s review of Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, Meg Downey gave the movie a 9 out of 10 and said, “It’s the sort of kinetic, high energy romp that comes with built-in replay value, and proves exactly why Harley Quinn has become such an endearing, beloved character in the pop-culture pantheon. If this is the direction the DCEU is headed, the future’s looking bright.”
Source: Game Spot Mashup