Barbie vs Oppenheimer: Greta Gerwig rules with jaw-dropping global box office debut

Barbie cast turn London Eye pink to celebrate film premiere

Greta Gerwig has broken the domestic box office record for a female director, with Barbie debuting at $155m in North America and $337m globally.

The film surpassed the $103.3m domestic opening of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and the $153m weekend opening of 2019’s Captain Marvel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Cinemas around the world were busier than ever over the weekend, thanks to the simultaneous release of Barbie and Oppenheimer, with excitement for Gerwig and Christopher Nolan’s respective blockbusters going into overdrive.

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, has surpassed the Cillian Murphy-starring biopic’s box office takings.

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”.


Barbie on track to earn biggest ever box office opening for non-superhero film

The Barbie and Oppenheimer 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.


Both ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ have exceeded projections in a huge way

Inga Parkel24 July 2023 19:30


Oppenheimer viewers react as ‘CGI dress’ covers nude Florence Pugh in some countries

Pugh plays psychiatrist Jean Tatlock in the Christopher Nolan epic, which was released in cinemas on 21 July, with Irish actor Murphy playing the eponymous “father of the atomic bomb”.

Tatlock and Oppenheimer were in a relationship and later had an affair while the physicist was married to Katherine “Kitty” Puening (portrayed by Emily Blunt in the movie).

For Western audiences, Pugh, 27, appears nude in multiple sex scenes with Murphy, 47. However, in countries including India and Indonesia, she is reportedly seen wearing a black dress that appears to have been added using CGI.

Florence Pugh in ‘Oppenheimer’

(Universal Pictures)

Pugh plays Oppenheimer’s mistress Jean Tatlock in the Christopher Nolan blockbuster

Inga Parkel24 July 2023 19:00


Greta Gerwig explains Barbie’s ‘mic-drop’ ending

Greta Gerwig has explained Barbie’s “mic drop” ending, revealing that its one-liner took inspiration from her personal experience as a teenage girl.

*Barbie spoilers below – you have been warned*

Margot Robbie in ‘Barbie’

(© 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Greta Gerwig explains Barbie’s ‘mic-drop’ ending: ‘I knew I wanted to end on a joke’

Director’s much-hyped movie is out in cinemas now

Inga Parkel24 July 2023 18:30


WATCH: Cillian Murphy reveals to The Independent’s own Jacob Stolworthy which Christopher Nolan film he’d double bill with Oppenheimer.

Cillian Murphy chooses the Christopher Nolan film he would double bill with Oppenheimer

Inga Parkel24 July 2023 18:00


Barbie’s marketing campaign will surely be studied for years. In a new interview with Variety, Warner Bros president of global marketing Josh Goldstine spoke about how they managed to pull off one of the most successful marketing campaigns in recent years.

Goldstine credited the leaked footage of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling rollerblading along Venice Beach last year as one of the moments they first saw the “material electrify the culture”.

Margot Robbie’s Barbie voice revealed in leaked set video

Inga Parkel24 July 2023 17:30


Emily Blunt says she was distracted by Cillian Murphy’s ‘ocean eyes’ on Oppenheimer set

In a group interview with People ahead of the film’s cinematic debut on Friday (21 July), the two were joined by Blunt, 40, who plays Oppenheimer’s trouble wife, Kitty Oppenheimer.

Speaking about what it was like acting alongside Murphy, the A Quiet Place star teased that she was often distracted by his eyes while filming.

Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy

(Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

‘Sometimes you find yourself just swimming in his eyes,’ Matt Damon said of Irish actor

Inga Parkel24 July 2023 17:00


Pavement react to surprise reference during Ken’s ‘mansplaining’ scene in Barbie

The Barbie soundtrack is jam-packed with tracks from artists such as Lizzo, Charli XCX, Nicki Minaj, and Dua Lipa – but there is one band reference that has surprised a number of fans.

Barbie has managed to live up to the hype that its worldwide marketing campaign drummed up, winning over audiences with its bubblegum pink aesthetic and clever script.

One element of the film that viewers did not expect, however, was a reference to Pavement. The California indie rock band is best known for hit tracks such as 1991’s “Debris Slide” and 2002’s “Here”.


Fans of the band were delighted at the seemingly random reference from one of the Kens

Inga Parkel24 July 2023 16:30


Oppenheimer’s women: the true story of the brilliant, complicated female figures behind the famed physicist

(Getty / Universal)

In Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s new film about the inventor of the atomic bomb, Florence Pugh is the messy mistress Jean Tatlock, Emily Blunt the alcoholic wife. Annabel Nugent talks to historians and discovers the women’s true story to be worthy of a three-hour film of its own:

Inga Parkel24 July 2023 16:00


Incredible behind-the-scenes look at Barbie’s transportation sequences

Greta Gerwig said Barbie’s transportation sequences, which show the characters’ transition between the Real World and Barbieland, were intended to “look like a diorama in the Natural History Museum”.

Without the use of CGI, Ryan Gosling said they were able to use “old silent movie film techniques”.

Inga Parkel24 July 2023 15:30


Oppenheimer sex scene sparks controversy among India’s Hindu right-wing groups

During the scene, Pugh’s character Jean Tatlock stops during intercourse and picks up a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism’s holiest scriptures, and asks Murphy, who plays the lead role of Dr J Robert Oppenheimer, to read from it.

The scene has caused outrage among the Hindu ring-wing groups, with a politician from India’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) calling the film a “disturbing attack on Hinduism”. He accused it of being “part of a larger conspiracy by anti-Hindu forces”.

Peony Hirwani24 July 2023 15:00

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