'Barbie' en 'Oppenheimer' veroveren bioscopen stormenderhand
July 24, 2023 - The simultaneous release of contrasting films Barbie and Oppenheimer powered box office takings to some $302m overall, giving cinemas their best opening weekend in over four years.
Two utterly contrasting feature films have become unlikely bedfellows during their opening weekends, giving movie theatres their biggest boost since the disastrous Covid-19 pandemic slump.
“Barbie”, a comedy about the famous toy doll, and “Oppenheimer”, an account of the inventor of the atomic bomb, brought out movie fans in their thousands, often to see both films – a phenomenon dubbed the “Barbenheimer” effect.
Warner Bros’ Barbie took the top spot with a huge $155 million haul in North American theatres to become the biggest opening of the year, and breaking the first weekend record for a film directed by a woman – Greta Gerwig.
Universal’s Oppenheimer also skyrocketed past expectations, taking in $80.5m in the U.S. and Canada – making it director Christopher Nolan’s biggest non-Batman debut.
Their combined North American takings amounted to $235.5m, leading the charge on a weekend that took in around $302 million of cinema business in total – around double what cinemas took in during the same period last year, and making it the fourth largest box office weekend of all time.
Globally, Barbie earned $182m and Oppenheimer $93.7m, with both scoring well with critics – 90% and 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively.