Mattel bets big on Barbie at the movies
July 21, 2023 - Toy-maker Mattel has a lot riding on its $100m Barbie movie, the first of a planned slew of titles from its new Mattel Films division.
Mattel has a lot riding on its $100m Barbie movie, the first of a planned slew of films from the toy-making behemoth that include Masters of the Universe, Barney, Hot Wheels and Magic 8 Ball, to name but a few.
The Barbie doll was launched by Mattel in 1959, when the toy-maker itself was only 14 years old, and has sold over a billion units over six decades.
Today, Barbie is still considered Mattel’s crown jewel, driving about a third of its $5 billion annual revenue.
Since 2018, Mattel has been working on a strategy to licence its intellectual properties to Hollywood, in an attempt to reverse a sales decline over recent years.
The new movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, a feminist comedy with a PG-13 rating, is a big gamble for Mattel Films.
A hit will boost toy sales, a flop will likely do the opposite – threatening other projects currently in pre-production.
Early screenings of the movie suggest the former could be on the cards. Social media reactions call the film funny, bombastic and very smart.
Barbie is released in cinemas worldwide on July 21.