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‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ opening weekend sales smash expectations : NPR

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Ryan Gosling (left) and Margot Robbie arrive at the film’s premiere and pose for the photographers barbie London this month.

Viannie Le Carr/Invision/AP

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Ryan Gosling (left) and Margot Robbie arrive at the film’s premiere and pose for the photographers barbie London this month.

Viannie Le Carr/Invision/AP

All you dusty old superhero series, put aside.

The summer’s best-selling movies haven’t been big-budget action flicks like Ant-Man or indiana jones. It’s a pink, plastic, feminist quest. barbie.

Comedy directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margo Robbie grabbed attention $155 million According to data aggregator Comscore, sales of domestic tickets are in the first three days.

And as if that message wasn’t clear enough, consider director Christopher Nolan’s similarly resounding popularity. oppenheimera three-hour dark portrait of the man who built the atomic bomb.

Together, this ill-matched duo pulled in $235.5 million in a single weekend, making it the fourth-highest-grossing movie of all time (not counting inflation).

The so-called Verbenheimer duo easily beat out this summer’s other big-budget latest releases. Mission Impossible For example, the movie took home $54.2 million in its first three days of sales.

Verbenheimer’s superhero-class success won’t escape the attention of studio executives struggling to turn a profit in a box office environment marked by an increase in post-pandemic movie theater closures and the enduring dominance of home-streaming services.

This weekend’s headline is that audiences may be sick of going to theaters for boring sequels, but they’re going to dress up and go to theaters for fresh characters and original stories.

barbie doll The opening was the biggest North American debut for a female director.

Warner Bros. conservatively predicted a box office gross of $75 million, following the poor performance of other summer releases. barbieopen weekend. Box office analysts have reached a higher level, according to deadlinewith a production budget of approximately $145 million, and the film is expected to have a production budget of $110 million.

but barbie‘s cultural cache helped it carry it far beyond those expectations, winning a few new titles in the process.

  • Highest preview ticket sales of the year ($22.2 million on Thursday), according to variety.
  • Biggest one-day debut of the year ($70.5 million in sales Thursday and Friday) according to variety.
  • It has the highest box office opening ever for a female-directed film in North America (2019’s Captain Marvel, co-directed by Anna Boden, grossed $153 million, and Patty Jenkins’ 2017’s Wonder Woman grossed $103 million).
  • It will be the biggest comedy debut (according to film consultant David A. Gross, who also publishes a weekly newsletter about box office success). Mr Gross said new york times No comedy has grossed more than $85.9 million at the box office in a three-day weekend. )

oppenheimer Expected opening weekend ticket sales doubled

Universal Studios announces R-rated biopic starring Cillian Murphy Earned nearly $40 million in opening weekendLess than half the cost of making a movie.

But in the end, we doubled the expected performance and even achieved some records.

  • Second Highest R-rated Non-Franchise Opening (2004) Passion of Christ It still holds the record of $83.8 million.) according to rotten tomato).
  • Third-biggest opening for a biopic in North America (not adjusted for inflation) (2014’s american sniper $89.3 million).
  • 7th largest movie opening over 165 minutes (oppenheimerhas a running time of 180 minutes, about the same as the top of the category. Avengers/EndgameThe 181-minute production grossed $357.1 million on its opening weekend in 2019. )

Taken together, Barbenheimer also broke some notable records

Globe Theater marquee announces opening barbie The photo was taken last week in Los Angeles.

Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

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Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Globe Theater marquee announces opening barbie The photo was taken last week in Los Angeles.

Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Combining the openings of the two movies represents:

  • The biggest opening three-day weekend since the pandemic.
  • Second only to fourth-largest movie weekend of all time (not adjusted for inflation) Avengers/Endgameplus 2018 Avengers: Infinity War and in 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you still don’t get it, that’s also a problem…
  • … a weekend box office leader not driven by an existing franchise.
  • It’s the first time a movie has grossed over $100 million in a three-day weekend, while another has grossed over $50 million. according to Hollywood Reporter.

Numbers aside, did the movie live up to the hype?

Audiences didn’t just come to see these films, they celebrated their arrival with everything from memes to merchandise to the rare reception of marketing geeks that followed.

And while the same-day release sparked a lot of rhetoric about rivalries, in the end, more than 200,000 people bought tickets to see the bizarre couple in a double feature, with each film only pushing the other forward, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. The question of which movie to watch first has become a bit of a punchline on the Internet.

But no matter how it looked, audiences were enthusiastic about it. Both scored very high on Rotten Tomatoes (90% barbie; 94% oppenheimer).Both films received an A grade in a CinemaScore exit poll.

Neither film was also exclusive to any audience, although there was some gender bias (65% of viewers barbie The audience was female. 60% oppenheimerwas male), according to New York Times.

What does this mean for the film industry?

It was the weekend Hollywood desperately needed after months of big-budget movie releases. The question now is whether movie studios can sustain this momentum.

And they may have some challenges. The unionized actors’ strike began on July 14, joining efforts launched by filmmakers and screenwriters in May. There are no immediate talks scheduled and the release date of upcoming films may be postponed as the impressive actors refuse to attend promotional events.

Logistics aside, there’s also the question of what Verbenheimer’s success will tell us about the future of the series and the original standalone stories.

Mattel, the company behind the Barbie doll, didn’t hesitate to leverage its intellectual property into this film and beyond.Company’s CEO Inon Kreitz told Time magazine.“My theory was that we needed to move from a toy manufacturing company that makes items to an IP company that manages franchises.”

Judging by audience receptivity to new stories about old favorite toys, a movie about Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket, or Lock’em Sok’em robots could be next.

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