Barbie vs Oppenheimer: Both films smash expectations as box office frontrunner emerges

Barbie cast turn London Eye pink to celebrate film premiere

Cinemas around the world are busier than ever thanks to the arrival of two films that have rapidly become blockbusters.

Excitement for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has been in overdrive in the run-up to their simultaneous releases, which have finally arrived.

While Oppenheimer’s critical ratings have blown past Barbie with a near-perfect Rotten Tomato score, the latter, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is now expected to double the Cillian Murphy-starring biopic’s box office takings.

However, both releases have shot past their expectations in a huge way, perhaps proving that audiences are tired of sequels and superhero films.

Barbie was estimated to earn $110m at the US box office during opening weekend, with Oppenheimer‘s total projected to sit around $50m. Impressively, Barbie is now on track to take $150m, with Nolan’s drama set to amass $75m. Internationally, Barbie’s takings will see it have the second biggest debut ever.

One place audiences are unable to watch the film is Vietnam, where it was banned – and it has now been delayed in Pakistan Punjab province over “objectionable content”. According to The Guardian, Barbie is being reviewed due to concerns over scenes that might violate the country’s social, cultural and religious values.

Meanwhile, speaking in a new interview with The Independent, Nolan described Oppenheimer as “the biggest film I’ve made”. Murphy admitted to struggling to watch the film due to seeing his face projected on the screen, but acknowleged that the film is “designed” to be “watched with an audience”.

Oppenheimer’s London premiere was cut short, however, as the cast left early in preparation for the SAG-AFTRA strike order, which was initiated hours after the event.


‘Oppenheimer’ technical faults hit cinemas

Christopher Nolan has made it very clear his preferred way to watch Oppeheimer is in IMAX 70mm.

In fact, the film is the longest one to ever be projected in this format.

Due to the fragile nature of projecting in 70mm, though, many cinemagoers around the world have been experiencing faults – one of which may or may not have been a nod to Barbenheimer.

Jacob Stolworthy23 July 2023 18:15


Rishi Sunak has seen ‘Barbie’

Getting in on Barbenheimer this weekend was Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who wrote: “The family vote was only ever going one way… Barbie first it is #Barbenheimer.”

Although it seems if he was planning on double billing with Oppenheimer, which has a 15 age certificate, he would have had to send his nine and 11year-old daughters home first.

Jacob Stolworthy23 July 2023 17:15


Christopher Nolan says Oppenheimer is ‘the biggest film I’ve ever made’

ICYMI, The Independent sat down with both Nolan and Cillan Murphy to discuss Oppenheimer.

During the chat, Nolan discussed his new film as well as his directing future while Murphy admitted: “I love watching Christopher Nolan’s films when I’m not in them.

Read the full interview here.

Jacob Stolworthy23 July 2023 16:14


‘The verdict on ‘Barbie’

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie gets the five-star treatment from our film critic Clarisse Loughrey:

Jacob Stolworthy23 July 2023 15:15


Are Christopher Nolan’s films right-wing?

That’s the question explored by my colleague Louis Chilton in his comment piece for The Independent.

The 52-year-old filmmaker’s work has long prompted speculation over his political views, from the supposedly pro-conservative Dark Knight to the anti-war messaging of Tenet. Does his nuclear biopic Oppenheimer hold any answers?

Jacob Stolworthy23 July 2023 14:28


‘Barbie’ viewers are reacting to a ‘jump scare’ cameo in the new film

Barbie stars many recognisable faces in smaller roles as different versions of Barbie and Ken, one of which is none other than Welsh comedy srtar Rob Brydon.

It turns out Margot Robbie was instrumental in ensuring he appeared in the film.

Jacob Stolworthy23 July 2023 13:17


‘Barbie’ is set to enter the history books

The Barbie and Oppeheimer excitement has resulted in one of the most lucrative box office openings of all time.

Both films opened on Friday (21 July), with their opening weekend box office tally across the world looking set to top the $400m (£311m) mark, which is a rare occurrence reserved for cinematic events.

Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is storming ahead with the lion’s share of those takings.

The film is estimated to amass $300m (£233m) internationally, which will see it earn the most successful opening of an original non-superhero film ever.

Jacob Stolworthy23 July 2023 11:15


Oppenheimer might be about the inventor of the atomic bomb, but the film features two characters who are worthy of their own three-hour film: Florence Pugh’s Jean Tatlock and Emily Blunt, who playes Oppehenimer’s wife Kitty.

Annabel Nugent spoke to historians to find out more about their lives.

Jacob Stolworthy23 July 2023 10:15


Quentin Tarantino is getting in on the action

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, a noted champion of cinema, has found himself caught up in Barbenheimer.

According to one Twitter user, the Pulp Fiction director saw Oppenheimer first in Los Angeles before heading over the road to see Barbie.

In a meta twist, the cinema he’s seen getting a ticket from here is the one Sharon Tate – played by Barbie star Margot Robbie – goes to in his latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Jacob Stolworthy23 July 2023 09:10


Was Oppenheimer really the ‘father’ of the atomic bomb?

“It is always too easy to fall for the great man – or great woman – theory of history,” Guy Walters writes in a long read for The Independent.

“But the problem with the great man theory is that it seldom holds water, and nowhere is it more leaky than with Oppenheimer.

“To regard him as the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ is to ignore not only that the Manhattan Project was the result of a historically unprecedented level of teamwork, but also those others who are equally deserving of atomic fatherhood status.”

Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 22:30

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