The Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah-directed film, starring Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon, wasn’t “big enough to feel worthy of a major theatrical release” or “small enough to make economic sense in an increasingly cutthroat streaming landscape,” so the only place it will be seen is on lists of other unreleased movies. The news came “two days before [Warner Bros. Discovery’s] quarterly earnings to take advantage of a ‘purchase accounting’ maneuver available to the conglomerate,” according to Deadline, which also reported how much the decision to shelve Batgirl will save the company.
Some of our sources scratch their head at that reasoning: How much money did Warners stand to save here? $15 million-$20 million at the most some say — which is nothing when you’re aiming at $3 billion. Furthermore, if Batgirl went straight to HBO Max, how could anyone determine if it was a success or failure?
$15 million-$20 million is nothing to sneeze at (unless the thing making you sneeze is 20 million dollars worth of cocaine), but it’s not that much money in the entertainment industry. That’s, for instance, Joaquin Phoenix’s salary for Joker: Folie à Deux, which was added to the release date calendar after the Batgirl news broke. Interesting timing!
You can still catch Barbara Gordon on HBO Max’s Harley Quinn — for now.