New Delhi: Barbie, the fantasy-comedy film directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, has emerged as a global blockbuster, earning $337 million worldwide in its opening weekend. The film, based on the popular doll franchise, has set several records, including the biggest opening weekend ever for a female director and the largest opening weekend for a movie based on a toy.
Barbie has received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, who have praised its satirical humor, colorful visuals, and charming performances. The film follows Barbie and Ken, two stereotypical dolls who live in a perfect world, as they embark on an adventure to discover their true selves and find their place in the real world.
Barbie has dominated the international box office with $182 million from 78 markets, beating its rival Oppenheimer, the historical drama directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. Oppenheimer, which tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who led the development of the atomic bomb during World War II, has earned $174 million worldwide, with $93.7 million from 78 markets.
Oppenheimer has also received positive reviews from critics and audiences, who have appreciated its meticulous research, compelling storytelling, and a stellar cast. The film, however, faces some challenges due to its long runtime of three hours and its serious tone.
Both films have performed well in the domestic market as well. Barbie has collected $155 million in North America, setting the opening weekend record of 2023 ahead of The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($146 million). Oppenheimer has added $80.5 million in North America, a remarkable result for a R-rated period piece.
The success of both films has been attributed to the phenomenon of “Barbenheimer”, which refers to the hundreds of thousands of moviegoers who booked a double feature of Barbie and Oppenheimer on the same day. The contrast between the two films created a buzz on social media and generated curiosity among fans.
The phenomenon also reflects the power of original and innovative filmmaking in attracting audiences to theaters. Both films are driven by visionary directors who have a loyal fan base and a reputation for delivering quality entertainment. Both films are also based on existing intellectual properties but offer fresh and unique perspectives on them.
Barbie and Oppenheimer have proven that there is still a demand for big-screen spectacles that are not sequels or franchises. They have also given a boost to the theater industry, which has been struggling due to the pandemic and the rise of streaming services.