"Birds of Prey," DC Comics' Harley Quinn spinoff, made a tepid debut in theaters over the weekend, opening in No. 1 but below expectations with $33.3 million domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)," an R-rated Warner Bros. release, arrived in theaters while its star — Margot Robbie — is nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in "Bombshell" and the previous DC film, the $1 billion-grossing "Joker," is up for a leading 11 Oscars.

But despite those lead-ins, "Birds of Prey" came in for a rocky landing. It had been expected to open around $50 million.

After three weeks atop the box office, Sony Pictures' "Bad Boys for Life" dropped to second with $12 million in its fourth weekend.

Ahead of the Academy Awards, several nominees padded their ticket-sales totals. Universal's "1917," the Sam Mendes-directed World War I film, took in another $9 million in its seventh weekend, good for third place. The film, a favorite for the Oscars, has grossed $132.5 million domestically and $287.4 million globally.

Rian Johnson's "Knives Out," nominated for best screenplay, added $2.4 million, bringing its North American total to $158.9 million. Lionsgate last week confirmed a sequel to the acclaimed whodunit.

Greta Gerwig's Louisa May Alcott adaptation "Little Women," up for six Oscars including best picture, also ranked in the top 10 with $2.3 million. Its seven-week domestic total is $102.7 million.

Holdovers "Doolittle" ($6.7 million in its fourth weekend) and "Jumaji: The Next Level" ($5.5 million) rounded out the top five.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday:

1. "Birds of Prey," $33.3 million.

2. "Bad Boys for Life," $12 million.

3. "1917," $9 million.

4. "Doolittle," $6.7 million.

5. "Jumanji: The Next Level," $5.5 million.

6. "The Gentlemen," $4.2 million.

7. "Gretel & Hansel," $3.5 million.

8. "Knives Out," $2.4 million.

9. "Little Women," $2.3 million.

10. "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," $2.2 million.

Associated Press