Barbenheimer weekend has begun with preview night numbers from the domestic box-office having come in.
Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” film raked in $22.3 million last night for Warner Bros. Pictures, whilst Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” managed $10.5 million.
That “Barbie” figure is easily the best preview of the Summer, beating out the $17.5 million Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” took in on its Thursday night.
Meanwhile “Oppenheimer” resoundingly beat Nolan’s most recent wartime period feature “Dunkirk,” nearly doubling the $5.5 million that 2017 film earned in its Thursday night previews.
“Barbie” was helped along by previews starting earlier (3pm) than “Oppenheimer” (5pm) and a shorter runtime meaning more screenings were available. “Barbie” will be available 4,200 theaters by Friday, while “Oppenheimer” will hit 3,600 theaters.
Critics are enamoured with both films – “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” pulling in 89% (8.1/10) and 94% (8.8/10) respectively on Rotten Tomatoes, and scoring 81/100 and 90/100 respectively on Metacritic.
No one is quite sure where “Barbie” will land by the weekend’s end, with it almost certainly se to debut somewhere above $100 million, whilst “Oppenheimer” is expected to debut above $50 million. Those preview numbers suggest both will go considerably higher.
Meanwhile, the Tom Cruise-led “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” remains in play and is expected to garner a further $30 million in its second weekend.
With the strikes expected to potentially decimate the Fall release schedule, this could mark the last real major cinema-going event weekend for some time to come.