Barbie made $377m while Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer took home $174m, making ‘Barbenheimer’ biggest box office weekend of 2023 so far
Greta Gerwig has made history as Barbie scored a US$377m (£293m, A$560m) opening weekend around the world, making it the biggest debut ever for a film directed by a woman.
At the North American box office – combining the US and Canada – Barbie claimed top spot with a massive $155m in ticket sales from 4,243 locations, surpassing The Super Mario Bros Movie and every Marvel film released this year to become the biggest opening of the year.
The social media-fuelled fusion of Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer as “Barbenheimer” brought moviegoers back to the theatres in record numbers to see both films as a double feature. Oppenheimer also soared past expectations, taking in $80.5m from 3,610 theatres in the US and Canada, making it Nolan’s biggest non-Batman debut and one of the best ever starts for an R-rated biographical drama.
It’s also the first time that one movie opened to more than $100m and another movie opened to more than $80m in the same weekend. When all is settled on Monday US time, it will probably turn out to be the fourth-biggest box office weekend of all time with more than $300m industrywide.
Internationally, Barbie earned $182m from 69 territories, fuelling a $337m global weekend, while Oppenheimer did $93.7m from 78 territories, even managing to surpass Barbie in India, for a $174.2m global total. In the UK, cinema chain Vue said a fifth of customers saw both films in a double bill on the weekend, which was the biggest for UK cinema ticket sales since Covid.
Barbenheimer affected ticket sales for Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part I, which fell 64% after a healthy opening weekend and strong reviews. Having lost Imax screens to Oppenheimer, the Tom Cruise vehicle added $19.5m to North American box office takings, which reached $118.8m.
Women drove the historic Barbie opening, making up 65% of the audience, according to PostTrak, and 40% of ticket buyers were under the age of 25. By comparison, Oppenheimer audiences were 62% male and 63% were over the age of 25, with a somewhat surprising 32% that were between the ages of 18 and 24.
This is the comeback weekend Hollywood has been dreaming of since the pandemic. There have been big openings and successes – Spider-Man: No Way Home, Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water among them – but the fact that two movies are succeeding at the same time is notable.
“It was a truly historic weekend and continues the positive box office momentum of 2023,” said Michael O’Leary, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners. “People recognised that something special was happening and they wanted to be a part of it.”
And yet in the background looms disaster as Hollywood studios continue to squabble with striking actors and writers over a fair contract.
Barbie and Oppenheimer were the last films on the 2023 calendar to get a massive, global press tour. Both went right up to the 11th hour, squeezing in every last moment with their movie stars. Oppenheimer even pushed its London premiere forward by an hour, knowing that Emily Blunt, Matt Damon and Cillian Murphy would have to leave to symbolically join the picket lines by the time the movie began.
Barbenheimer’ fever took hold in the UK as Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie took £30m on their opening box office weekend.
According to the UK Cinema Association, that makes it the most successful weekend for UK cinema-going since 2019.
That year, Disney blockbuster Avengers: Endgame opened with takings of £43.7m.
The Vue cinema chain said this weekend marked the second biggest in its history by admissions.
Barbie is now on track to become the biggest film released so far this year, ahead of Super Mario Bros.
A more detailed breakdown of the weekend’s UK box office figures will be published later on Monday.
Barbie’s marketing campaign has been huge – and hugely successful – with debut takings worldwide of $337m (£293m).
US and Canada takings were enough to make it the biggest opener of 2023 so far in that region.
The film took an estimated $155m (£120m) according to distributor Warner Bros, while Oppenheimer made $93.7m (£72m), Universal Pictures said.
The North American box office figure broke the opening weekend record for a female director, easily overtaking the $103.3m opening of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman.
Both films have been a welcome relief for cinemas who are battling against the juggernaut of streaming.
Oppenheimer’s plot is centred on the development of the first atomic bomb, starring Cillian Murphy and directed by Christopher Nolan.
With artists like Dua Lipa, Sam Smith, Billie Eilish, Nicki Minaj, and Ice Spice, the Mark Ronson produced Barbie movie soundtrack is poised to be almost as iconic as the movie itself. From danceable pop hits to more melancholic tunes and ballads, the soundtrack is full of songs for a variety of Barbies and Kens.
While Aqua’s classic song “Barbie Girl” unfortunately isn’t on the soundtrack, there are plenty of other bops that make Greta Gerwig’s Barbie Land come to life. Here are all of the songs you can expect to hear on the Barbie soundtrack, including a few words on some of the big standouts:
Margot Robbie says her close pals won’t let her live down missing her shot to lock lips on the big screen with her “Barbie” co-star, Ryan Gosling.
In the comedy drama film directed by Greta Gerwig, Barbie (Robbie) and Ken (Gosling) never share a smooch, much to Robbie and her friends’ dismay.
While recently speaking with MarkMeets on the red carpet, Robbie, 33, was asked whether she was happy she didn’t have to make out with Gosling in the film, to which she admitted being less than thrilled over not kissing one of Hollywood’s hunkiest stars.
“Uh no! That didn’t feel like a win for me,” the actor told MarkMeets
All of my girlfriends were like, ‘Well you did a whole movie with him and you don’t kiss? What’s wrong with you? I thought you were kind of in charge on this one!’” said Robbie, who also served as a producer on the film.
She added: “I was like, ‘I know, I can’t check that one off [my list].’”
On the other hand, Gosling gushed about the pair’s portrayal of the iconic inanimate couple even if it was sans kiss.
“It was so funny trying to figure out what [Barbie and Ken’s] idea of kissing might be,” Gosling, 42, told People in the interview alongside Robbie. “I’m so glad all of that got cut out.”
The kiss wasn’t the only moment from the film that got the boot.
Last week, Gerwig told the IndieWire that there were “lots of things that didn’t end up in the final movie.”
In addition to Barbie and Ken canoodling, a look-alike scene with Emma Mackey and Robbie, a cozy moment with Ken and Weird Barbie, and cameos from Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet were also cut from the nearly 2-hour film.
“Barbie,” which also stars Will Ferrell, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Ariana Greenblatt and Simu Liu, is now playing in theaters.
Barbie star Margot Robbie surprises fans with hidden talent in resurfaced video: ‘She’s perfect’
Margot Robbie is continuing to wow fans with her impressive talents.
In a resurfaced video shared to social media, the Barbie star, 33, is seen talking in sign language to a fan while at a premiere.
Robbie attended the UK premiere for her film Amsterdam in September last year, where she happily greeted members of the public and posed for photos.
The video, which was taken at the red carpet event, shows the actress using Auslan to communicate with a deaf fan.
She appeared to say ‘nice to meet you’, to the fan before they posed for a photo together.
‘She’s amazing I love her,’ one user replied to the video.
‘This woman is literally perfect,’ another added.
One fan said: ‘As if we needed another reason to love her!’
Margot Robbie is continuing to wow fans with her impressive talents. In a resurfaced video shared to social media, the Barbie star, 33, is seen talking in sign language to a fan while at a premiere
Many also praised the actress for going out of her way to speak to the fan.
‘She really took time to free her hands and communicate with a fan to make them seen. She’s so precious,’ someone tweeted.
Robbie’s big budget and highly anticipated summer movie Barbie was released last week.
The video, which was taken at the red carpet event, shows the actress using Auslan to communicate with a deaf fan
The 33-year-old actress plays the title role of the Mattel wonder opposite Ryan Gosling as her beau Ken in a live-action movie directed by Greta Gerwig.
It comes after DailyMail.com unearthed rare photos of Robbie when she was the age when most girls collect Barbie and all her add-ons like her pink convertible, pets, bicycle and dreamy Malibu beach house.
In photos that have hardly ever been published, Margot appears to be a sweet young kid with thick bangs and a wide smile who is ready for adventure.
The movie star was born Margot Elise Robbie on July 2, 1990 and seemed to have a normal upbringing in Australia.
Barbie star Margot Robbie (seen R in the film) looks adorable in resurfaced childhood snaps – the star is seen left aged four attending Somerset College Primary School in Queensland in 1994
In photos that have hardly ever been published, Margot appears to be a sweet young kid with a wide smile who is ready for adventure
Here the actress is seen in her Western look from the movie directed by Greta Gerwig
She did not grow up in a big city but rather in the country in Dalby, Queensland. Dalby is a rural town in the Western Downs Region, Queensland, Australia. The population of Dalby is about 15,000 people.
Her father Doug Robbie was a farm-owner and sugarcane tycoon. Her educated mother was Sarie Kessler, a physiotherapist.
Little Margot was far from an only child as she had siblings. They are Anya, Lachlan and Cameron.
But crisis hit the family early on as her parents split up with the future A list movie star was only five-years-old.
The plucky actress seemed to have a very normal upbringing in Australia. She did not grow up in a big city but rather in the country in Dalby, Queensland – she has three siblings, Anya, Lachlan and Cameron
The star is seen with her sister Anya as a toddler in Australia
After the marriage crumbled, the kids lived with their mother Sarie at a Gold Coast farm owned by one of their grandparents. The farm was called Currumbin Valley.
Margot did not see much of her dad after the split.
Robbie thrived anyhow as she became athletic learning gymnastics.
It has been claimed that her mother entered her in the circus as a trapeze artist after having received a certificate at age eight.
Margot did not see much of her dad after the split. Robbie thrived anyhow as she became athletic, learning gymnastics – she is seen as a young teenager with braces
Margot with (L-R) her father Doug Robbie, her mother Sarie Kessler and husband Tom Ackerley
But soon acting came calling for the cheerful blonde. While still in high school she appeared in two small budget films: Vigilante and I.C.U.
She studied drama at Somerset College where she first honed her skills.
But money was not easy when she was at college and she had to work odd jobs to pay for the basics.
At one point she lived off tips as a bartender and also took to cleaning houses for extra cash.
It has been claimed that she also made sandwiches at a Subway chain.
Dalby is a rural town in the Western Downs Region, Queensland, Australia. The population of Dalby is about 15,000 people
She was only 19-years-old in this photo taken in 2009. She was at the Australian Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards 2009 at Hisense Arena in Melbourne
After she graduated from Somerset she went into acting in Melbourne, picking up commercials to get by.
She made her television debut in a 2008 guest role as Caitlin Brentford in the drama series City Homicide and followed this with a two-episode arc in the children’s television series The Elephant Princess, in which she starred alongside Liam Hemsworth but her first big hit was Neighbours in 2008. She was on the show until 2011.
Next came Hollywood. She got a small role on Pan Am (2011) then was in the movie About Time (2013).
Robbie’s breakthrough came with Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street.
At the Black Eyed Peas Wrap Party at the Palms at Crown in 2009 in Melbourne
Seen at the 51st TV Week Logie Awards at the Crown Towers Hotel and Casino in 2009 in Melbourne
While promoting her new Barbie movie Margot said she really never played with dolls as a kid.
She said she was not into playing indoors with toys as she was more of a ‘roll-around-in-the-mud kind of gal’ though her sister and cousins did have the dolls.
When asked about her memories of playing with Barbie dolls, she said, ‘I didn’t personally have any that I can recall.’
But when she did play with dolls they were not picture perfect.
‘I think they were all so janky because they were not well cared for. They were all weird Barbies,’ she added.
As Barbie hits cinemas… here’s what the critics are saying
Margot Robbie’s highly-anticipated Barbie movie is released July 21 after a whirlwind press tour, and already it has earned many rave reviews.
The film stars Robbie as the iconic Mattel doll and Ryan Gosling as Ken alongside an A-list ensemble cast that includes America Ferrera, Dua Lipa, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae and Will Ferrell.
‘Dazzling’: Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosliing, is a hit with critics
‘My main criticism, actually, has nothing to do with the subject matter. Barbie or no Barbie, it’s not intrinsically that good a film. It’s uneven, disjointed, the plot makes no real sense — and the dead hand of corporate America weighs heavily upon it.’ – Sarah Vine, MarkMeets
‘Yes, Barbie is fun. Yes, it will make you laugh and might make you think. But […] it won’t change your life, probably not your summer, maybe not even your week.’ – Brian Viner, MarkMeets
‘This is a truly original work – one of the smartest, funniest, sweetest, most insightful and just plain flat-out entertaining movies of the year’ – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
‘In Gerwig’s capable hands, even a movie about the one of most popular toys of all time eludes expectations at every turn. Barbie is her mainstream masterpiece, a dazzling dream that will touch the souls of everyone who sees it’ – Coleman Spilde, The Daily Beast
Both a master’s thesis on feminism and an Austin Powers-esque romp’ – Chandler Levack, Globe And Mail
‘The zaniness of Barbie, combined with Gerwig’s interest in skewering the patriarchy, sometimes makes the movie a baggy, tonally dissonant viewing experience. But for the most part, she achieves a pleasing balance between the silly and the serious’ – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
‘Barbed statement wrapped in a visually sumptuous & sublimely silly cinematic confection’ – Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
‘A soulful film underneath all the persistent fuchsia. One that has heart and ambition as well as abundant beauty, inside and out’ – Tomris Laffly, TheWrap
‘What really makes this comedy click are the stellar performances, from the lead role on down. This is the funniest cast I’ve seen in some time’ – Peter Howell, Toronto Star
‘This is a wonderfully fun watch that somehow manages to simultaneously celebrate and satirise the Barbie brand, its feminism and girliness pairing like gorpcore sandals with a floaty pink skirt’ – Alice Saville, Time Out
‘Robbie takes an archetype long dismissed as an airheaded caricature and, moment by deeply felt moment, teases and fleshes her out’ – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
‘Robbie takes an archetype long dismissed as an airheaded caricature and, moment by deeply felt moment, teases and fleshes her out’ – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
Barbie: Actors Who Turned Down Ken Roles
Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie is overflowing with Ken-ergy, thanks in large part to its star-studded cast, which includes Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, and Kingsley Ben-Adir as various Kens. For a handful of actors, though, the dream of portraying Barbie’s “long-term, long-distance, low-commitment, casual” boyfriend on screen was just out of reach: in an interview with Vanity Fair on July 20, casting director Allison Jones revealed the names of three actors who, unfortunately, had to turn down supporting roles as Ken in the film.
Due to COVID-19 restraints, the cast and crew were required to spend three months in London, where a large part of the film was shot. Ultimately, the logistics of the filming process resulted in scheduling conflicts that pushed Bowen Yang, Dan Levy, and Ben Platt out of the running to play Ken. “They were, I’m not kidding, really bummed they couldn’t do it,” Jones said.
Even the role of Allan, who many have deemed the unsung hero of “Barbie,” was originally intended to go to another actor: Jonathan Groff. “Dear, dear Jonathan Groff was like, ‘I can’t believe I’m typing this, but I can’t do Allan,” Jones said, also citing scheduling conflicts. Though it would have been fun to see the Broadway veteran add his own spin to the previously forgotten doll, the internet seems to agree that Michael Cera did the character justice. “Allan is easily the best character in the Barbie movie,” one Twitter user wrote.
Nicola Coughlan, who plays Diplomat Barbie, also previously revealed that she nearly had to miss out on the Barbieland experience due to her busy work schedule. With some encouragement from Gerwig, though, Coughlan managed to secure a smaller — but still memorable — role in the movie. “When I was asked if I wanted to pop into Barbieland even briefly my answer was an immediate, and very emphatic yes,” she wrote on Instagram.
At this point, we may need a “Barbie” sequel to make up for all the celebrities whose schedules conflicted with filming. In the meantime, you can catch us singing along to the “Barbie” soundtrack all summer long.
‘Barbie’: Greta Gerwig Reveals She Had To Fight For This Scene To Stay In The Film
From refusing to use CGI for Margot Robbie’s viral tiptoe scene to making sure “Barbie” didn’t have “too many baby angel heads,” we can all thank Greta Gerwig and her keen directorial intuition for helping the newly released film stick the landing with fans worldwide.
And now we have yet another reason to salute Gerwig’s prowess.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Gerwig revealed that she had to fight for a scene in “Barbie,” in which Barbie (Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) are in “the real world” and they pass by an elderly woman on a bench.
During the moment, Barbie stops to tell the woman she is beautiful. However, Gerwig said the touching scene nearly didn’t make the final cut as she faced pressure to toss the scene.
Gerwig said studio executives urged her to remove the scene because it didn’t add to the film’s plot, but the 39-year-old filmmaker wouldn’t budge, insisting that the scene was “the heart of the movie.”
“I love that scene so much,” Gerwig told the magazine. “And the older woman on the bench is the costume designer Ann Roth. She’s a legend. It’s a cul-de-sac of a moment, in a way — it doesn’t lead anywhere. And in early cuts, looking at the movie, it was suggested, ‘Well, you could cut it. And actually, the story would move on just the same.’ And I said, ‘If I cut the scene, I don’t know what this movie is about.’”
“That’s how I saw it. To me, this is the heart of the movie,” she continued. “The way Margot plays that moment is so gentle and so unforced. There’s the more outrageous elements in the movie that people say, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe Mattel let you do this,’ or, ‘I can’t believe Warner Bros. let you do this.’ But to me, the part that I can’t believe that is still in the movie is this little cul-de-sac that doesn’t lead anywhere — except for, it’s the heart of the movie.”
The scene may not have anything to do with the plot directly, but Gerwig argued that the scene is crucial for fans to grasp Barbie’s outlook on the real world after she leaves the unblemished Barbieland.
“The idea of a loving God who’s a mother, a grandmother — who looks at you and says, ‘Honey, you’re doing OK’ — is something I feel like I need and I wanted to give to other people,” Gerwig told The New York Times about the significance of the scene, which she coined a “transaction of grace.”
“If I cut that scene, I don’t know why I’m making this movie,” Gerwig declared. “If I don’t have that scene, I don’t know what it is or what I’ve done.”
Last week, Gerwig told the IndieWire that despite there being “lots of things that didn’t end up in the final movie,” she insisted that she never had to remove anything “where I thought, ‘Oh, that’s been taken from me by my corporate friends.’”
While the bench scene remained in place, some of the film’s scenes that did get the boot, include Barbie and Ken’s kiss and cameos from Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet.
Barbie director Greta Gerwig is open to Bond film
Greta Gerwig would “never say never” to helming a Bond film.
The ‘Barbie’ director is open to helming a movie in the iconic spy thriller franchise and admitted she is a fan of the franchise’s producer Barbara Broccoli.
“Oh my God. We’re going to just stick with some lions and some dolls for the moment.
“But you never know. I really like Barbara Broccoli, so…”
Greta was referring to ‘Barbie’ and the challenge of making multiple film adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia books by C.S. Lewis.
Of the latter project, she confessed: “I haven’t even really started wrapping my arms around it, but I’m properly scared of it, which feels like a good place to start.
“I think when I’m scared, it’s always a good sign. Maybe when I stop being scared, it’ll be like, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do that one.’”
The ‘Little Women’ director is both “terrified” and “excited”.
She added: “But yeah, no. I’m terrified of it. It’s extraordinary and it’s exciting.”
During its opening weekend, ‘Barbie’ has made a whopping $337 million at the global box office, while Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’, released on the same day (21.07.23), has raked in $174.2 million.
Greta insists there’s no rivalry between ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ – and has urged film fans to see both at the cinema.
The ‘Ladybird’ director is adamant the movie starring Margot Robbie as the iconic doll and the Cillian Murphy-starring nuclear new drama – known collectively as ‘Barbenheimer’ – both deserve to be seen on the big screen.
She told The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s all love — double up, double up twice. I think you’ve got to see what the experience is, Barbie then Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer then Barbie. I think you’ve got to take all of the journeys.”
American Ferrera’s Barbie speech has so many unused versions
America Ferrera delivered her epic ‘Barbie’ monologue “30 to 50 times”.
The 39-year-old actress delivers one of the standout moments in Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster as she perfectly captures the contradictory demands women face every day as they strive to be everything to everyone, and she has revealed the scene as a whole was shot over two days.
“It felt like 500 [takes]. I’m sure it wasn’t. It was probably 30 to 50 full runs of it, top to bottom.”
Ferrera explained that both she and Greta were keen to make sure there were “no targets to hit” with her delivery as Gloria, and she ended up acting out many different versions.
She added: “I think that part of it was — this was also based on Greta’s direction — neither one of us went into it feeling like it’s got to grow and crescendo to this big moment where you burst into tears or you’re laughing so hard you cry.
“There were no targets to hit. It was much more a moment-to-moment drop in. Truly, every take was very different.
“There were takes that leaned into anger. There were takes that leaned into laughter. It really did, over the course of filming, find a shape.
“It was about just staying as present in the moment and just seeing really where the words would take it.”
She felt “a little bit of healthy pressure” with the pivotal scene, and she was surprised with the way the filmmaker wanted it to come across, after initially wondering if she would need to keep it rooted in “the tone of Barbie Land”.
She said: “I was a bit surprised when Greta really pushed me to be as real and grounded as possible and not make it feel like it’s the truth, but it’s Barbie Land pink truth.
“It was interesting that I initially felt that we wouldn’t just go as straightforward and real with it as we did, that I assumed that there might be a tone that maybe made it, I don’t know, I guess easier for people to hear or to swallow.
“Greta really didn’t want that. She wanted it to just sound like the truth.”
“Barbie” is now playing in theaters nationwide.