This morning it was wonderful to sit in a 10.20am showing of Christopher Nolan’s three-hour biopic Oppenheimer with barely a seat left in the auditorium, and equally joyous to walk through a foyer filled with excited fans of all ages decked in pink, queuing for Great Gerwig’s Barbie. It’s a scene being reflected at the box-office, because both films are breaking domestic and international records on what has come to be known as Barbenheimer weekend.
As expected it was Barbie leading the way, with the Margot Robbie headlined Mattel movie setting the best preview record for 2023 with a whopping $22.3 million. This bests the preview total of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which opened with $17.5 million. Barbie has also made $41.4 million through Thursday in 51 international markets.
As a comp, Disney’s The Little Mermaid earned $10.3 million in previews, before making $96 million over the 3-day weekend, so should this play out as expected then Barbie could be looking at an opening of around $125 million at the domestic box-office.
The success wasn’t Warner Bros. alone though, because their former poster boy, Christopher Nolan, earned blockbuster-level preview figures for Universal with Oppenheimer. The critically acclaimed bomb-maker biopic did $10.5 million, which puts it on a par with It Chapter Two, and above similar bum-numbing efforts such as John Wick: Chapter Four, which posted $8.9 million earlier this year. Oppenheimer also delivered $15.9 million overseas through Thursday.
It’ll be interesting to see how this counterprogramming phenomenon plays out over the course of the weekend. You can read our reviews of Barbie (here) and Oppenheimer (here), and don’t forget to let us know where your ticket money went by heading to our social channels @FlickeringMyth…
Source – Deadline