‘Barbenheimer’ delivers for big screen
July 24, 2023
Barbenheimer – the release of films Barbie and Oppenheimer simultaneously – has delivered the strongest opening weekend at the box office this year. Barbie’s estimated $155 million (€140m) opening in North America was the highest of the year. Oppenheimer, a three-hour film about the “father of the atomic bomb”, took in an estimated $80.5 million in North America, well above estimates of $50 million.
Barbie became the fourth-highest grossing film debut ever in the North American market, behind two instalments of the Avengers franchise and a Star Wars film. Directed by Greta Gerwig, it also marks the highest-grossing film opening for a female director.
Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, Barbie grossed an estimated $182 million outside the US. Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan and released by Universal, took in $93.7 million outside the US, according to Comscore.
The performances were especially strong for films not based on proven Hollywood franchises such as Star Wars or The Avengers, analysts said.
The strong performances are a boost to cinemas, many of which are still struggling from the effects of lockdowns. Cinemas have enjoyed their first full slate of summer films since 2019, but ticket sales have lagged below the levels reached that year.