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Movies & TV

23rd Jul 2023

The box office numbers are in for ‘Barbenheimer’ and they are mind-blowing

Simon Kelly

They are more than Kenough.

The biggest head-to-head in recent box office history reached its climax this weekend as both Barbie and Oppenheimer released in cinemas last Friday.

It was a very good few days for cinemas, which saw sell-out crowds across the weekend and created a much-needed buzz for the industry recently shut down due to strike action.

As the weekend closes out, the numbers are starting to roll in and they are quite something, especially for the Greta Gerwig directed flick.

The numbers are staggering, with Barbie smashing box office predictions and grabbing the biggest opening weekend of any film in 2023 with $337 million globally ($155 million in the US)

Not only that, but Barbie now holds the record for the biggest opening ever for a female director (Greta Gerwig), the biggest opening ever for a movie based on a toy and also the biggest opening ever for stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. Simply incredible.

To add to that, it also had the biggest opening weekend of any movie that isn’t superhero film, isn’t a sequel and isn’t a remake.

Barbie and Oppenheimer help each other out at the box office

The internet phenomenon known as “Barbenheimer” which saw the two very different films in Barbie and Oppenheimer release on the same day, helped massively to fuel the biggest collective post-pandemic box office weekend, as well as the fourth-biggest overall weekend in history.

People turned out in their droves worldwide for a double-feature day at the cinemas to see both films back to back, with many dressing up appropriately.

Despite Barbie, with its arguably more mainstream appeal, beating it in a head-to-head, the figures for Christopher Nolan’s wartime drama are just as impressive for its opening weekend.

Reeling in an estimated $174.2 million globally ($80.5 million in the US), the Cillian Murphy starring flick is the biggest non-Batman opening for Nolan as well as the 3rd biggest domestic opening ever for a biographical film.

Both movies have also enjoyed major critical praise, with Oppenheimer at 94% and Barbie at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s fair to say it’s been an extremely successful weekend for both films. Maybe this is the new way to release movies? More double-features, we say!

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