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‘Barbie’ joins $1 billion club, breaks another record for female directors

by Joshua Brown
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Barbie

The film “Barbie” is on its way to join the prestigious $1 billion club, setting a new milestone for female directors by surpassing the previous record held by Patty Jenkins for “Wonder Woman.” In just three weeks, “Barbie,” directed and co-written by Greta Gerwig, has earned nearly $1 billion globally, including $53 million from 4,178 locations in North America over the past weekend. Margot Robbie stars in and produced this blockbuster, which has been topping the box office charts for three weeks.

Warner Bros. has projected that “Barbie” will cross the $1 billion threshold by the end of the day. Only 53 films have achieved this feat in modern box office history, not considering inflation. “Barbie” has now become the highest-grossing film solely directed by a woman, outdoing “Wonder Woman’s” $821.8 million worldwide total. Though three films co-directed by women still surpass “Barbie,” including “Frozen” and “Frozen 2” by Jennifer Lee and “Captain Marvel” by Anna Boden, “Barbie” has taken the North American record for live-action films directed by women with $459.4 million.

This weekend also saw new challengers like “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” and “Meg 2: The Trench,” both vying with Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” for second place. “Meg 2” managed to secure second place with a $30 million opening weekend, despite poor reviews. Meanwhile, “Oppenheimer” added $28.7 million in North America and has grossed $552.9 million globally, making it Nolan’s fifth-biggest movie ever and the biggest World War II movie of all time.

Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” came in fourth place, earning an estimated $28 million in North America. The film has received excellent reviews and features a prominent voice cast including Jackie Chan, Ice Cube, Paul Rudd, Ayo Edebiri, and Seth Rogen.

Films like “Barbie,” “Oppenheimer,” and the surprise hit “Sound of Freedom” are contributing to a resurgence at the box office, compensating for earlier disappointments. However, industry triumphs could be temporary if the ongoing strike by actors and writers continues to affect releases, with some studios pushing films into 2024.

Sony’s decision to delay the release of “Gran Turismo” reflects the challenges posed by the strike. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore, stressed the need for realism amidst the excitement over box office successes, emphasizing that the strike is creating uncertainty.

The top ticket sales for the weekend in U.S. and Canadian theaters were as follows:

  1. “Barbie,” $53 million.
  2. “Meg 2: The Trench,” $30 million.
  3. “Oppenheimer,” $28.7 million.
  4. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” $28 million.
  5. “Haunted Mansion,” $9 million.
  6. “Sound of Freedom,” $7 million.
  7. “Dead Reckoning Part I,” $6.5 million.
  8. “Talk to Me,” $6.3 million.
  9. “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani,” $1.5 million.
  10. “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” $1.5 million.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Barbie

What record did “Barbie” break for female directors?

“Barbie” broke the record for the highest-grossing film solely directed by a woman, surpassing the previous record held by Patty Jenkins for “Wonder Woman.” It is set to exceed $1 billion in global ticket sales.

Who directed and starred in “Barbie”?

Greta Gerwig directed “Barbie,” and Margot Robbie led the cast. Margot Robbie also served as a producer for the film.

What other notable movies were released this weekend?

Other notable releases this weekend included “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” and “Meg 2: The Trench.”

How has the ongoing strike by actors and writers affected the movie industry?

The ongoing strike has created uncertainty in the industry, leading some studios to delay releases, such as Sony’s “Gran Turismo,” and pushing other films into 2024.

What are the top three films in the U.S. and Canadian box office this weekend?

The top three films in the U.S. and Canadian box office were “Barbie” with $53 million, “Meg 2: The Trench” with $30 million, and “Oppenheimer” with $28.7 million.

What is Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” about, and how has it performed at the box office?

“Oppenheimer” is a biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer, starring Cillian Murphy. In just three weeks, it has become the highest-grossing R-rated film of the year and Nolan’s fifth-biggest movie ever, with a global tally of $552.9 million. It is also the biggest World War II movie of all time.

What was the audience reception for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem”?

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” received excellent reviews, with a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has earned $43.1 million since opening on Wednesday. It features a starry voice cast, including Jackie Chan, Ice Cube, Paul Rudd, Ayo Edebiri, and Seth Rogen.

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