At a time when the film industry is facing one of its most challenging times, the box office still recovering from pandemic after effects and strike-related shutdowns hitting production, it's nice to have some solidly good news to report. Barbie has become a box office sensation its first weekend, opening to a staggering $155 million, while Oppenheimer similarly scored, launching with $80.5 million.
Barbie now ranks as the highest launch for a film directed by a woman (outpacing Captain Marvel's $153 million, which was co-directed by Anna Boden) and together with Oppenheimer's success means that this is the fourth-biggest opening weekend in US history (with the top three powered by established franchises such as Star Wars and Marvel).
Though Barbie is based on an existing product, it's still an original film, while Oppenheimer, even given the name recognition factor of Christopher Nolan and a stacked, starry cast, impressed given that it's an R-rated bio-drama about a serious subject. Counter-programming works! And many were even tempted by a "Barbieheimer" double bill, further pushing the results.
And globally, the story is much the same, with Barbie totaling an estimated $300 million and Oppenheimer taking $174 million.