Greta Gerwig's Empowering 'Barbie' Sets Box Office Ablaze, Breaks Records

 

Greta Gerwig's Empowering 'Barbie' Sets Box Office Ablaze, Breaks Records


July 23, 2023

In a trailblazing triumph for women-led films, Greta Gerwig's highly anticipated movie 'Barbie' has taken the summer box office by storm, exceeding all expectations and rewriting records during its opening weekend. The Warner Bros. production, bringing Mattel's iconic fashion doll to life, raked in a phenomenal $70.5 million on Friday, including $22.3 million from previews. Early projections hint that 'Barbie' is on track to make history with a domestic opening of over $155 million, a feat usually reserved for male-driven superhero blockbusters or top-tier franchises like the final 'Harry Potter' film.

Internationally, 'Barbie' is also proving its global appeal, with a projected debut in certain markets reaching as high as $120 million. This overwhelming response underscores the significance of showcasing female protagonists and narratives on the big screen.

Importantly, 'Barbie' is poised to become the highest-grossing domestic debut for a film directed by a woman, outperforming Patty Jenkins' 'Wonder Woman,' which previously held the record with a $103.3 million opening in 2017. Additionally, the film is set to claim the top spot for the biggest opening of 2023 to date, surpassing highly anticipated releases like 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie,' 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,' 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,' and 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.'

Greta Gerwig's 'Barbie' has struck a chord with audiences, particularly women, with 68 percent of viewers identifying as female. The film's empowering message and captivating storytelling have resonated deeply, making it a cultural phenomenon with a reach extending far beyond its usual demographic.

While 'Barbie' reigns supreme at the box office, Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer,' a three-hour historical drama about the making of the atomic bomb and the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, has also made a strong impact. Earning $33 million on Friday, 'Oppenheimer' is projected to secure a $77 million opening weekend, positioning itself as Nolan's third-highest domestic debut, following 'The Dark Knight Rises' and 'The Dark Knight.'

With 'Barbie' and 'Oppenheimer' leading the charge, this weekend is poised to become the first in history where one film surpasses $100 million and another crosses the $50 million mark. This remarkable achievement comes as a much-needed boost for the film industry, which is still recovering from the impact of the pandemic.

Moreover, both films have garnered praise from audiences and critics alike, boasting impressive scores on Rotten Tomatoes: 'Barbie' with 90 percent and 'Oppenheimer' with 93 percent.

Interestingly, a survey conducted by the National Association of Theater Owners reveals that around 200,000 patrons have already booked double-feature tickets to watch both 'Barbie' and 'Oppenheimer,' indicating the widespread appeal of both films and a promising sign for the future of diverse storytelling in cinema.

As 'Barbie' and 'Oppenheimer' continue to dominate the box office, they are also causing a ripple effect on other releases. Tom Cruise's 'Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One' experienced a significant drop in its second weekend, facing stiff competition from the two blockbusters. Despite receiving excellent reviews, the film is expected to gross between $20 million and $21 million, vying for the third-place spot with 'Sound of Freedom.'

As the box office roars back to life, 'Sound of Freedom,' an independent sleeper hit, continues to perform exceptionally well. The faith-based political thriller, starring Jim Caviezel, has crossed the $100 million mark domestically and is projected to earn another $20 million or more in its third weekend. However, the film has faced controversy due to its association with certain political groups.

In summary, 'Barbie' and 'Oppenheimer' have made history by delivering staggering box office numbers, reaffirming the demand for diverse storytelling and female-led narratives in cinema. As Hollywood recovers from the pandemic and looks toward the future, these films stand as shining examples of the power of inclusive and compelling storytelling on the silver screen.


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