Barbie nukes Oppenheimer on opening weekend in America

24 July 2023

Still from Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig

Still from Barbie, a film by Greta Gerwig.

But all of these box-office taking numbers are staggering:

One of the prime records Barbie is breaking this weekend is the best domestic start for a movie helmed by a female director, with $155M. That figure beats 2019’s Captain Marvel, which was co-helmed by Anna Boden and had a $153M start. Globally, at an estimated $337M, Barbie is the second-best start for a movie from a female after Captain Marvel, which did $456.7M. Big numbers: the entire global haul for Gerwig’s awards-blockbuster crossover 2019 title, Little Women, was $218.8M.

I can’t say I’m surprised, and I think Barbie-mania was as big a thing in Australia as it was the United States. There was no missing the groups of young women and girls especially, adorned in pink, who were on their way to, or from, seeing Barbie at the movies. And this in a small town a couple of hours drive north of Sydney, where we’ve been the last few days.

The numbers for Barbie’s opening rival, the Christopher Nolan made Oppenheimer, are still impressive though. I wonder if the J. Robert Oppenheimer bio-pic will pick up on the long tail what it might have missed on the opening weekend.

Update: here are the Australian box office numbers for last weekend, the period Thursday 20 July through to Sunday 23 July 2023. Movies typically open on Thursdays in Australia (because, who wants to go to the movies on a Friday), hence the four day reporting period. Whatever, you can see Barbie well out in front of Oppenheimer.


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