Barbie and Oppenheimer

Barbenheimer: Barbie & Oppenheimer Smash Box Office Records

Last Updated: September 21, 2023By Tags: , , ,

Continuing its ascent at the box office, “Barbenheimer” experiences continued growth. Greta Gerwig’s whimsical and rosy-hued comedy “Barbie,” alongside Christopher Nolan’s intense and somber historical drama “Oppenheimer,” achieved mind-blowing opening weekends.

Surpassing all expectations, “Barbie” raked in an impressive $162 million during its inaugural weekend in theaters. The Warner Bros. production, featuring Margot Robbie as the iconic and fabulous doll, exhibited a mere 9% decline from Saturday’s earnings, securing an additional $43.7 million on Sunday.

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie
Source: Warner Bros.

The ticket sales from its opening weekend establish “Barbie” as the highest-grossing film of the year, surpassing “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($146 million). Moreover, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” achieved a groundbreaking milestone as the biggest debut ever for a film directed by a woman, surpassing the previous record set by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s 2019 blockbuster “Captain Marvel” ($153 million)

This remarkable achievement is a testament to the immense excitement, interest, and fervor surrounding ‘Barbie,’ as noted by Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution, Jeff Goldstein, in a message to the press. He expressed, “This doll will indeed have long, long legs.”

However, ”Oppenheimer” also surpassed expectations with an impressive $82.4 million. The biopic centered around the father of the atomic bomb added an additional $98 million from the international box office, bringing its global total to $180 million. Despite its lengthy runtime and dialogue-driven narrative, the film, directed by Christopher Nolan, achieved a remarkable start, positioning itself as one of the best openings for an R-rated film and a biographical drama.

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer
Source: Universal Pictures

The cultural phenomenon of “Barbenheimer,” where both movies were paired together for double features despite their seemingly different genres, contributed to the largest collective weekend at the box office since the pandemic began. In a stunning display, the industry amassed over $300 million, making it the fourth-largest weekend in history.

The top three weekends were previously dominated by blockbuster sequels in massive franchises, including “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019 ($402 million collectively), “Avengers: Infinity War” in 2018 ($314 million collectively), and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015 ($313 million collectively).”

Both big-budget films received rave reviews and surpassed astronomical pre-release expectations. Analysts initially predicted a $100 million to $110 million opening for ‘Barbie’ and a $50 million debut for “Oppenheimer.” Either result would have been noteworthy for non-franchise films during the competitive summer season.

Source: Universal Pictures/Warner Bros.

“Barbie” also outperformed expectations in the international market, grossing an impressive $194.3 million and bringing its global earnings to a stunning $356.3 million. Notably, “Barbie” achieved these ticket sales despite having limited exposure on premium large format and IMAX screens, which typically yield higher-priced tickets than standard 2D showings.

The reason for ‘Barbie’s’ limited availability on premium large format screens was due to “Oppenheimer,” which was filmed with IMAX cameras, dominating the industry’s allocation for such formats. Premium large formats, preferred by Nolan for his movies, contributed a substantial 47% of “Oppenheimer’s” domestic earnings, with IMAX alone accounting for $35 million in global ticket sales.

IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond commented on the global appeal of “Oppenheimer,” stating, “Around the world, we’ve witnessed sold-out 4 a.m. screenings and people traveling across borders for hours just to experience ‘Oppenheimer’ in IMAX 70mm.”

Which “Barbenheimer” side are you on, Barbie or Oppenheimer? Let us know in the comments below!

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