The director of DC Comics film Birds of Prey has spoken out about its perceived under-performance at the global box office.
The movie is a follow-up of sorts to 2016's Suicide Squad, focusing on the character of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) as she assembles a team of vigilantes in Gotham City to take on the sadistic crime boss Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
Critics praised the movie for its light tone, strong visual style and action sequences, with RadioTimes.com calling it "a fun, fast-paced and brightly-coloured romp" in our four-star review.
However, the film was classed as a financial disappointment, making a total of $201 million at the box office, well below other recent DC Comics films like Shazam ($366m), Aquaman ($1.1bn) and Wonder Woman ($821 million).
Director Cathy Yan has given her take on the film's box office in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, hitting back against the notion that audiences weren't "ready" for a female-led blockbuster.
"I know that the studio had really high expectations for the movie — as we all did. There were also undue expectations on a female-led movie, and what I was most disappointed in was this idea that perhaps it proved that we weren’t ready for this yet," Yan said.
"That was an extra burden that, as a woman-of-colour director, I already had on me anyway. So, yes, I think there were certainly different ways you could interpret the success or lack of success of the movie, and everyone has a right to do that. But, I definitely do feel that everyone was pretty quick to jump on a certain angle."
Birds of Prey will be released as an online purchase earlier than planned on 27th April, as many people are stuck at home looking for entertainment options.