The wave of excitement that washed over audiences last year when Top Gun: Maverick reenergized movie theaters is now surging once again. Spectators from all over the nation gathered to participate in what is now famously dubbed as the “Barbenheimer” day – the highly publicized box office showdown between Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. As anticipated, Barbie is taking the lead at the national box office, surpassing even the most optimistic predictions with an exceptional performance.
Generating $70 million on its Friday premiere, including $22 million from Thursday sneak peeks, the satirical comedy inspired by the renowned Mattel toy franchise has accumulated an estimated $155 million during its opening weekend. Initial forecasts for the film’s debut were in the $90 million to $110 million scope. With this, Gerwig has secured the largest opening weekend earnings for a solo female director, comfortably surpassing the $103 million debut of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman in 2017.
This represents the most significant opening weekend profit of the year to date, surpassing The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s $146 million launch during the Easter weekend. Barbie also provides a crucial boost to Warner Bros. following the disappointing performance of The Flash a few weeks ago, and indicates a comeback for the star Margot Robbie, who was recovering from two major-budget failures in Amsterdam and Babylon. Robbie, who also co-produces Barbie, sees her weekend performance as a promising foundation for a profitable new franchise for Warner Bros.
Image via Warner Bros.
The Most Impactful Scene in ‘Barbie’
In a parallel scenario, this week’s other big release from the studio would’ve been the three-hour biographical epic Oppenheimer, telling the story of the theoretical physicist renowned as the “father of the atomic bomb”. Warner Bros. fell out with its favored son, Nolan, some years ago due to a contentious mid-pandemic release strategy that seemed to prioritize its own streaming platform Max over cinemas. This led an outraged Nolan to shift his projects to Universal, which is showcasing Oppenheimer in over 3,600 national theaters. After earning $33 million on Friday, inclusive of $10 million in previews, the movie is projected to haul in about $80 million over the weekend. This exceeds its initial forecast by more than $30 million and reaffirms that Nolan’s allure in attracting theater-goers is still second to none. It’s his third most successful opening ever, trailing only The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
Tom Cruise Takes the Fall
Boosted by months of social media hype and riding high on a surge of positive reviews, both Barbie and Oppenheimer are expected to remain robust throughout the summer. The only casualty in this scenario is Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One. With its release date a mere week and a half before “Barbenheimer,” it was always bound to face challenges. Despite the usual pattern of slow start but steady performance for Tom Cruise’s films, Dead Reckoning Part One is facing one of the franchise’s sharpest downturns, making $19.5 million in its second weekend, pushing its national total to just below $120 million. This is a grim prospect for a film that allegedly cost $290 million due to pandemic-related expenses.
Dead Reckoning Part One can’t even attribute its underperformance to poor reviews, unlike the fifth-place movie this week, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Harrison Ford’s final adventure as Indiana Jones didn’t quite hit the critical mark Disney had hoped for, and its box office success is similarly underwhelming. The movie earned around $7 million this weekend, taking its running national total to just under $160 million. The total business this weekend exceeds $300 million, marking the most profitable weekend since Avengers: Endgame shattered records in 2019 and ranking as the fourth largest in history.
Check out our interview with Gerwig here, and keep following FilmSweep for more updates.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Barbie Movie Box Office Record
What movie has had the largest opening weekend of the year?
The movie “Barbie” directed by Greta Gerwig had the largest opening weekend of the year, grossing an estimated $155 million.
Who holds the record for the largest opening weekend earnings for a solo female director?
Greta Gerwig holds the record for the largest opening weekend earnings for a solo female director with her movie “Barbie,” surpassing the previous record set by Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” in 2017.
Which movie has boosted Warner Bros. after a series of flops?
The movie “Barbie” has provided a much-needed boost to Warner Bros., especially after the disappointing performance of “The Flash.”
How did the movie “Oppenheimer” perform during its opening weekend?
Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” grossed $33 million on its opening Friday, and it is projected to earn about $80 million over its opening weekend, which is $30 million more than what it was expected to make.
Which movie experienced one of the sharpest downturns in recent history?
“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” experienced one of the sharpest downturns in its franchise’s recent history, making $19.5 million in its second weekend.
How did the final “Indiana Jones” movie fare at the box office?
The final “Indiana Jones” movie, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” earned around $7 million in a recent weekend, taking its running national total to just under $160 million.