Now that the dust has settled, it’s become abundantly clear that the box office is looking a lot more like Oppenheimer than Barbie, if only for the fact the double-bill of the century has completely atomized the competition in a fashion much more befitting of Christopher Nolan’s atomically-inclined subject.
Greta Gerwig’s star-studded comedy has comfortably won the weekend, and it’s done so by making mincemeat of its much more expensive rivals. Even if we ignore Oppenheimer completely given that it opened on the exact same day, Barbie is already one of the Top 10 highest-grossing releases of 2023 despite spending the grand total of 72 hours in theaters.
Not only that, but a $337 million global opening weekend has launched it beyond Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One – which has admirably crossed $300 million in its second weekend – as well as the $295 million legacy sequel Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, not to mention the DCU’s abominable $200 million failure The Flash.
Let’s not forget that Barbie didn’t come cheap at $145 million, but based on the cold, hard facts, it’ll be profitable by the middle of next week. Meanwhile, Harrison Ford’s swansong as the legendary archeologist and Ezra Miller’s long-awaited solo debut as the Scarlet Speedster are on course to lose a combined total of roughly $400 million, so the least the executives at Warner Bros. could do is bow down to Gerwig and Margot Robbie for preventing further financial catastrophe.
Just like the song says, then, it’s a Barbie world, and the general public are desperate to shell out for a ticket to become part of it.