Home MoviesMovie News Record-Breaking Debut of ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ Rakes in Over Half a Billion Globally in Opening Weekend

Record-Breaking Debut of ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ Rakes in Over Half a Billion Globally in Opening Weekend

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The film industry’s most anticipated box office showdown has exceeded expectations. The much-awaited “Barbenheimer” weekend has finally arrived, with both Greta Gerwig’s satirical comedy Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s gripping three-hour biographical drama Oppenheimer surpassing even the highest of expectations. Together, the two films garnered over half a billion dollars in global box office sales, an astounding achievement demonstrating the broad appetite for various cinema genres when well-crafted and properly marketed.

As anticipated, Barbie has enjoyed considerable success both nationally and internationally, but surprisingly, Oppenheimer has shown even more impressive overperformance. The film earned $80 million domestically, with an additional $93 million from 78 international territories, resulting in a global debut of $174 million. This nearly doubles the initially projected $100 million worldwide earnings. Conversely, Barbie brought in an exceptional $155 million domestically, and $182 million from 69 overseas territories, leading to a global debut of slightly above $337 million. For perspective, Warner Bros’ most recent major release, The Flash, hasn’t yet achieved these numbers even after a month in theaters.

Barbie, with a production cost of approximately $145 million prior to marketing expenses, potentially signals the advent of a new franchise for Warner Bros. However, Gerwig, whose unique vision greatly contributed to the film’s success, has been contracted recently to direct two Narnia movies for Netflix. A Barbie sequel without Gerwig seems inconceivable. With this achievement, Gerwig now has three consecutive critical and commercial successes after Lady Bird and Little Women, showcasing her incredible journey from indie filmmaking to becoming one of America’s top directors.

Christopher Nolan’s Scientific and Destructive Characters: All Paths Lead to ‘Oppenheimer’

Barbie also marks a significant triumph for lead actors Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, both aligned with Warner Bros. studio. Despite Robbie’s recent big-budget failures with Amsterdam and Babylon, and Gosling’s past underperformances with First Man and Blade Runner 2049, Barbie has reinvigorated their careers.

A Boost for the Summer Movie Season

Although Barbie was expected to outperform the $100 million earning Oppenheimer due to its more popular appeal, shorter duration, and star-studded cast, Nolan’s intense drama about the “father of the atomic bomb” has attracted audiences globally, primarily based on his stellar reputation. Over the years, Nolan has earned respect as a top global filmmaker, creating blockbuster films that don’t compromise on intellectual depth. His successful ventures include The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, each grossing over $1 billion worldwide. He also directed Dunkirk, the highest-grossing World War II film, and brought complex sci-fi films like Inception and Interstellar to nearly $800 million in global earnings.

Oppenheimer, featuring Cillian Murphy in the lead role, marks Nolan’s first project with Universal, following his split with Warner Bros. due to its controversial decision to simultaneously release its entire 2021 slate on streaming during the pandemic. Despite Nolan’s Tenet underperforming after a controversial theatre-only release, the director was determined enough to seek a new collaboration. It’s been recently reported that Warner Bros. is trying to win him back, but details remain uncertain.

Both films received high A CinemaScores from opening day audiences, and currently maintain “fresh” ratings of over 90% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. These promising ratings hint at a promising future for both films, as the “Barbenheimer” hype fades and quality becomes the primary factor for their longevity through the summer. For more updates, stay tuned to FilmSweep and catch our interview with Nolan here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Barbenheimer weekend

How much did “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” make on their opening weekend?

Together, the two films garnered over half a billion dollars in global box office sales in their opening weekend.

Which movie performed better, “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer”?

While both movies performed exceedingly well, “Barbie” had a larger box office intake with a global debut of slightly above $337 million, compared to “Oppenheimer” which debuted at $174 million.

Who directed the movies “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer”?

Greta Gerwig directed “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan directed “Oppenheimer”.

What are the anticipated future prospects for “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer”?

Both films received high A CinemaScores from opening day audiences and currently maintain “fresh” ratings of over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. These promising ratings suggest a promising future for both films as the quality of these movies is expected to sustain their popularity beyond the initial hype.

Is there a possibility for a “Barbie” sequel?

Yes, given its success, “Barbie” could potentially become a new franchise for Warner Bros. However, a sequel without director Greta Gerwig, who recently was contracted to direct two Narnia movies for Netflix, seems inconceivable.

Did “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” meet their projected earnings?

Both films surpassed their projected earnings. “Oppenheimer” nearly doubled its initially projected $100 million worldwide earnings, while “Barbie” generated a global debut of slightly above $337 million, surpassing expectations.

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DramaQueen July 24, 2023 - 6:07 am

Barbie and Oppenheimer, two different genres yet both so successful. Proof that diversity in storytelling really pays off. Absolutely love it!

PopcornJunkie July 24, 2023 - 10:35 am

over half a billion in opening weekend… insane!!! can’t wait to see what these two films do next.

MovieFan101 July 24, 2023 - 11:51 am

Wow! I had high hopes for both films, but this is something else… More power to diverse cinema!!

ComicNerd July 24, 2023 - 1:47 pm

Oh man, if Barbie is outdoing Flash in its opening, then Warner Bros. definitely have a new franchise on their hands. Sequel when??

IndieSpirit July 24, 2023 - 5:19 pm

Gerwig’s rise has been inspirational to watch. From Lady Bird to Barbie, she’s truly shown what’s possible in cinema.

NolanLover July 24, 2023 - 10:29 pm

Always knew my boy Nolan would deliver. $174 million on opening weekend for a 3-hour biopic? That’s respect for the audience’s intelligence right there.

CinePhile78 July 24, 2023 - 11:40 pm

Wasn’t sure Oppenheimer could compete with a light comedy like Barbie but I’m so glad I was wrong. Good cinema is alive and well.

RobbieFan July 25, 2023 - 4:02 am

So happy for Margot Robbie!! After Amsterdam and Babylon, she needed a win like this. Can’t wait to see her in more films.


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