‘Barbie’ breaks box office records with $1 billion


NEW YORK –The thundering “yes” to the billion-dollar query comes from “Barbie.” According to official Warner Bros. projections, Greta Gerwig’s movie has already made an amazing $1.03 billion worldwide in just three weeks of release. Gerwig now holds the record for being the first female director of a $1 billion film. It is hardly surprising that “Barbie” has done well given that she is one half of the viral “Barbenheimer” phenomena. And the doll’s remarkable success is not at all surprising, standing on her own two feet.Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, said: “I’ve been in this business for 30 years, and the Barbie and Barbenheimer phenomenon is as unprecedented as it was unpredictable.” Dergarabedian claims that, historically speaking and without accounting for inflation, just 50 movies have made over $1 billion. The marketing effort for the film, he continued, was the first indication “Barbie” might be a commercial success.”By virtue of its shared release date with “Oppenheimer,” the marketing campaign for “Barbie” started a series of events that resulted in the word “Barbenheimer” being added to the common lexicon, and that’s when we all knew something very special and unique was going to create a much bigger than expected outcome for the movie not only for the opening weekend, but for its global run in theaters.” Margot Robbie, who not only starred in but also produced the film, revealed a vision she had at a studio greenlight meeting in a recent interview with Collider.We needed to create a movie, so maybe I oversold it when I claimed they’d earn a billion bucks, she said. Warner Bros., which is owned by CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, released “Barbie”. Box office earnings in some of the biggest movie markets in the world, such the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Australia, were a major factor in its global success. According to monitoring website Box Office Mojo, the film has been the top release in these markets every weekend since it has been out. The second-largest market in the globe and one that has grown more secluded over the past several years, China, saw positive results with “Barbie” as well.Franchise movies like “Transformers,” “Fast and Furious,” and Marvel’s superhero flicks often perform well with Chinese viewers, according to analysts. While “Barbie” shares a similarity with “Transformers” in that it is based on a toy, according to Michael Berry, director of UCLA’s Center for Chinese Studies, “it is not an IP that generations of Chinese have grown up with, so you lack the intergenerational appeal that a film like ‘Barbie’ has in the United States.” Barbie is still regarded as iconic globally, according to Berry, a scholar of Chinese cinema and popular culture, providing the film a strong foundation for international popularity.

Children in many nations “have grown up with the dolls, her imagery… (but) the film exploits that name-recognition in a very shrewd way by playing into both the Barbie lovers and Barbie haters,” he added.

The movie also masterfully balances appealing to both naive and wide-eyed eight-year-old dreamers, who approach the movie on one level, and adult viewers, who are able to perceive the movie on an altogether new level, full of sarcasm, comedy, sexual innuendos, and symbolism.
For many who may have came for the hot-pink costumes and remained for the existential concerns in the movie, “Barbie” has become anything from a relationship litmus test to a celebration of women.

According to BoxOffice Pro chief analyst Shawn Robbins, the movie “has tapped into cultural conversations about gender roles and female empowerment that aren’t bound by international borders.” “Driving that discourse is the film’s embrace of what generations of women have both loved and hated about the brand and what it’s often represented in the past,” he added.


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