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by OppGen

When a movie isn’t performing well at the box office, what can a studio do? In the case of Warner Bros.’ most recent DC Comics movie, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), changing the title might help. The movie’s opening weekend made $33 million domestically, which was short of the projected $50 to $55 million.

There’s been a lot of finger-pointing at what’s to blame for its disappointing opening weekend (sexism due to the female cast and director, its R rating, bad marketing, etc.), but one explanation could be its title.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is not only a mouthful; it’s bad for SEO. It’s long, so most people aren’t going to type the entire thing.

Then throw in recognition. The Birds of Prey aren’t nearly as well-known as Harley, whose name is on par with other big DC Comics characters, like Batman, Wonder Woman, and Joker. 

ahrefs's keyword explorer lists search volume for "harley quinn," "birds of prey," and "birds of prey (and the fantabulous emancipation of one harley quinn)"

As Ahrefs’s keyword explorer shows, “harley quinn” has greater search volume than “birds of prey.” The movie’s original title has significantly less search volume than both “harley quinn” and “birds of prey.”

The new title, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, is easier on the tongue and search engines. It puts the well-known character front and center. That’s good since Harley Quinn is searched more than Birds of Prey. Plus, if someone searches for either “harley quinn” or “birds of prey,” this new title will help them find the movie easier.

Even though the new title isn’t in Ahrefs’s keyword explorer, it’s worth noting the change is recent. The fact it’s not in the database can be positive in terms of outranking the competition. As more people search for Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, the movie’s local showtimes will probably be the first results.

In the meantime, we’ll have to wait to find out just how much of a difference the SEO-friendly title makes in the box office.


Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube © Warner Bros.

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Birds of Prey Changes Title for Better SEO