‘Barbie’ opened with $155 million for its domestic box office, $182 million overseas

The Barbenheimer release date “snafu” was designed to do one thing: annoy Christopher Nolan. Warner Bros was trying to screw over Nolan’s Oppenheimer by scheduling Barbie for the same release date. I’m not sure WB planned out what would come next: a months-long viral campaign for both films and millions of dollars worth of free media and publicity. At the end of the day, Barbenheimer was a huge success by any metric – Nolan’s Oppenheimer was his biggest non-Batman opening ever, and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is breaking all kinds of records for woman directors, non-comic-book movies and on and on.

Over the weekend, moviegoers turned out in force for Greta Gerwig’s neon-coated fantasy comedy “Barbie,” which smashed expectations with $155 million to land the biggest debut of the year. But they also showed up to see Christopher Nolan’s R-rated historical drama “Oppenheimer,” which collected a remarkable $80.5 million in its opening weekend.

Hundreds of thousands of ticket buyers refused to choose between the two seemingly different auter-driven blockbusters with sprawling casts and twin release dates. So they opted to attend same-day viewings of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” turning the box office battle into a double feature for the ages.

The cultural craze known as “Barbenheimer” worked to fuel the biggest collective box office weekend of the pandemic era, as well as the fourth-biggest overall weekend in history. It’s worth noting the top three weekends of all time were led by the debuts of sequels in massive franchises (“Avengers: Endgame,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”).

In the end, though, it wasn’t a competition as “Barbie” loomed large over box office charts, thanks to an inescapable marketing campaign, as well as quality to match the stratospheric hype. At the international box office, the film added $182 million for a stunning global tally of $337 million.

The $145 million-budgeted movie, backed by Warner Bros. and Mattel, dominated the zeitgeist in the weeks leading up to its debut (even reportedly causing a shortage of the color pink) to a degree that’s rare for original fare. (Yes, Barbie is perhaps the world’s most famous doll, but the movie isn’t a sequel or part of a pre-existing film franchise.)

“We have a pink unicorn here,” says Jeff Goldstein, the president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. “We thought it would be $75 million for the opening weekend. Nobody saw $155 million coming. This doll has long legs.”

[From Variety]

While I’m happy for Nolan and the Oppy team, I’m beyond thrilled for Gerwig, for Margot Robbie, for what this hopefully means for women directors and women producers and female-led stories. Women are a huge market and an underserved market – give them original summer films, give them fun marketing campaigns and we will rush to the theater. I know Gerwig and Mattel will get a lot of well-deserved credit for what they did, but don’t discount Margot’s amazing contributions here. She was the producer and her company, LuckyChap, pitched this to Mattel and hired Greta to write and direct. Margot has had so much success as a producer already, even before this, but this success should get LuckyChap all kinds of deals. Also, shout-out to the Barbie marketing team and Margot’s stylist – y’all did incredible work.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Cover Images and Warner Bros/Barbie.

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80 Responses to “‘Barbie’ opened with $155 million for its domestic box office, $182 million overseas”

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  1. Elisa says:

    Margot for the win.

  2. stormyshay says:

    My 16 year old daughter went to watch the movie yesterday with friends. While dropping her off I saw women of all ages, from elementary age to grandmothers, with most of them dressed up wearing pink. It was very fun to witness. My daughter loved the movie.

    • Meghan says:

      My mom and I went to the 2:30 show yesterday, wearing pink, of course, and as we were walking in 2 teenage girls were coming out and told us Barbie was sold out for the day. Luckily I bought our tickets on Friday.

    • Escondista says:

      I went with a bunch of moms and we all went as different eras of Barbie from the 50s through the 80s! We saw some guys going and they were wearing their best Ken-inspired outfits! It was a real reason to go out and have fun!

    • ama1977 says:

      I saw it yesterday with my mom, sister, and almost 11 year-old daughter, all in pink, and it was FANTASTIC. We all loved it. It is *NOT* a kid’s movie, however, and some people in our theater did not get that message. And then did not feel the need to make their small children sit still and/or take them out of the theater when they got restless. I was quickly reminded of why I don’t like seeing movies in the theater anymore. But it was worth it!! America Ferrara’s monologue is absolutely spot-on.

    • BeanieBean says:

      The theater I went to had a pink photo wall where little girls were lining up to get photographed. The ticket-taker a wore Barbie T-shirt & told me it was the best movie that day! A good time was had by all.

  3. Eurydice says:

    Congrats to them all.

    Not sure I like the word “unicorn” – I suppose he means this particular movie, but these are talented women who can make even more successes. As for women being an underserved market – I remember when First Wives Club was a big hit and everyone marveled that women actually went to the movies…and then everything went back to the way it was before.

    • Lucy2 says:

      Good point. This happens every couple of years when a female driven film finds big success, they call it a fluke and unicorn, talk about it changing the industry, and then go right back to the status quo.

      • North of Boston says:

        See this great article by Linda Holmes, from NPR and formerly from Television Without Pity about the way female focused and female directed films are often missing at theaters and any successes are dismissed as a fluke … over and over again

        The article is from 10 years ago and things really haven’t changed.


        “They put up Bridesmaids, we went. They put up Pitch Perfect, we went. They put up The Devil Wears Prada, which was in two-thousand-meryl-streeping-oh-six, and we went (and by “we,” I do not just mean women; I mean we, the humans), and all of it has led right here, right to this place. Right to the land of zippedy-doo-dah. You can apparently make an endless collection of high-priced action flops and everybody says “win some, lose some” and nobody decides that They Are Poison, but it feels like every “surprise success” about women is an anomaly and every failure is an abject lesson about how we really ought to just leave it all to The Rock”

        Maybe Barbie will change things but it’s hard to get my hopes up.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Yeah. I was reminded about the ‘explanation’ for why so many kid books feature boys with girls as supporting characters: girls read books featuring girls or boys, whereas boys only read books featuring boys. They tell us the same thing about movies. Neither is really true. Everybody enjoyed Barbie the afternoon I saw it, I heard the men laughing as well as the women. Everybody liked the ‘beach off’!

      • dj says:

        My husband and I went and he loved it. Yeah. He liked the “beach off” too. Anybody who has not watched “Barbie” but intends to please don’’t read Lainey’s article. While a nice article it is a summary of the best parts and plot of the movie. Just a heads up. I know Celebitch has many who read both.

    • bisynaptic says:


    • Concern Fae says:

      Unicorn is also a tech world term for a privately owned tech startup worth over $1 billion. So he’s talking about it as the sort of financial success everyone dreams of.

  4. Lily says:

    Contributed to the international box office… I saw Barbie on Saturday and the theatre was full of people from all ages. No one dressed in pink like others are describing, but everyone seemed to enjoy it a lot. I actually had to buy a ticket for an earlier showing, because everything was sold out!
    Honestly, the movie was way better and way more funny than I expected. Gosling was hilarious, he should do more comedies.

    • Josephine says:

      My son in his early twenties and a buddy went to the movie. That’s probably not the audience they were going for but the two of them thought it was well done and really enjoyed it.

      • ama1977 says:

        My 15 year-old and about 6 of his teammates are Barbenheimer-ing tomorrow! I think they’ll really enjoy Barbie for Barbie’s sake.

      • MF says:

        I’m hearing that a lot of Millennial and Gen Z men are seeing this movie. They don’t care that it’s for women–they just wanna see it because they hear it’s a funny movie. (Maybe this means we are making progress against patriarchy as a society?)

      • tealily says:

        I saw a ton a 20-something dudes decked out in pink and beachwear at my showing (and at Oppenheimer too!). It seemed like lots of younger folks were going in large groups and embracing the whole theme day!

      • ama1977 says:

        One of my son’s friends is wearing a hot-pink suit for their outing; my son is debating wearing his black suit and appearing as the “Oppenheimer” foil to his friend’s “Barbie” or wearing a pink polo. So cute!! I’m glad they’re excited and I think they will understand and embrace the message of the movie. I really love the Gen Z kids.

    • Danbury says:

      Me too! We were a group of middle aged ladies all in pink – it was fab!! And agree about Gosling, he was amazing

  5. Josephine says:

    Right-wingers are coming unhinged about the Barbie movie, and that was before a single ticket was sold. I very, very much like that for the nazi Rebublicants. Suck it, losers and keep foaming at the mouth about a sweet movie. Right-wingers are losing it over everything these days.

    • Mc says:

      All of the republicans saying woke won’t sell and Ben Shapiro burning Barbies (after SEEING THE MOVIE) makes the success of Barbie so much better.

      • Jk says:

        Hahahahah! He did? Omg. What a loser!

      • Carrot says:

        Hahaha, yep, and he was dressed up like Ken. Might be wishful Kenergy desire coming out

      • Lightpurple says:

        He spent hundreds of dollars on Barbie props for his 43 minute review. He also claims it will flop overseas. He is apoplectic that his predictions were wrong.

    • seaflower says:

      It’s delicious watching the meltdowns from the Bros. Some of the tweets coming out poking fun at the RW Bros are hysterical.

      “Barbie did something these men couldn’t: It gave women two hours of pleasure.”

      Or the posters someone made up with the one star rating comments:
      “the feminist agenda will kill us all” or “They won’t be happy until we are all gay” or my favourite “A pink acid trip that feels like being slapped by lots of confusingly attractive people”

    • tealily says:

      I saw some dummies on social media straight-up lying that that Q-Anon movie made more money in the comments of a couple articles about the box office numbers. Like, dude, it’s in the headline.

      • Juniper says:

        Like them bragging earlier about making $100M last week when it had been open since July 4th. Last I checked, $155M in one weekend > $100M over 3 weeks.

  6. I saw Barbie this weekend and absolutely loved it! After it had ended, my friends and I looked at each other and started laughing as all of our faces were noticably tear stained from crying during certain parts, it ended up being a lovely bonding moment that I was so happy to experience.

    • aang says:

      I also cried! It was so funny, touching, powerful, philosophical, perfectly cast, with great aesthetics. All around one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time.

    • tealily says:

      I started crying right from the get-go during the introduction to the Barbie Land utopia. I felt so much like playing with Barbies as a kid! Before we knew the ins and outs of reality.

  7. SarahCS says:

    I’m going tonight and we’ve had our tickets booked for a couple of weeks, we’re really looking forward to it, all the more so for hearing all the positive reactions.

    The initial ‘vibes’ trailer didn’t really get me interested but as soon as we got the longer one where you can see more of the concept I was sold. I’m delighted for all concerned and definitely a shout out to Margot’s stylist in addition to the rest of the creative team who delivered this to us.

  8. Jais says:

    Went this weekend and sooo many people were wearing pink which was really cute to see. And taking pics inside the giant Barbie box in the theater. The marketing was so on point and while I’m not sure he would admit it, Nolan should be sending thank you notes.

  9. Sierra says:

    I am so glad this one is a success and I hope Captain Marvel coming out later this year gets the sane success. That movie has 3 female superheroes fighting a female supervillain.

  10. Kittenmom says:

    I did the double this weekend – Oppen-arbie in my case since I saw that one first. Both were excellent. The Barbie set & costume designers deserve all the awards.

  11. Jk says:

    I was going to go watch it on Saturday with my family here in Spain but it was completely sold out in all the sessions from 1800 to 2100. Will go at a later date. We are all looking forward to watching it!

    • tealily says:

      I went to the cinema in my town that is usually empty and it was absolutely packed! I wasn’t going to get tickets ahead, but thankfully changed my mind the day before when I heard that other theaters were selling out, because I’m sure it was sold out too.

  12. Carrot says:

    Saw it three times!

  13. Carrot says:

    And I saw Oppenheimer, just once

  14. Lucy2 says:

    I’m going to see it this weekend with some friends, and we are going to split into two rows because there were a lot of seats already sold out. Really glad it did so well. I’ve enjoyed Greta’s film so far, and Margot is a force for sure.

    Soooo many local businesses around here are playing it up, having Barbie themed specials and events. The marketing for this has been stellar, and it really hit onto something that people are excited about.

  15. OldLady says:

    All the people frothing and saying this movie is anti-men did not understand this movie.
    Saw it, loved it. Felt personally seen by the Pride and Prejudice gag.

    • SarahLee says:

      Shocking that a bunch of salty men wouldn’t understand the movie. I went with friends – wasn’t really that interested in it, TBH. The overhwelming marketing campaign had turned me off and I’m not a Ryan Gosling fan at all. I LOVED IT! So glad I went. It is so much more than a comedy. Yes, it’s funny, but there is a lot to unpack and I didn’t expect all the feels I got from it.

      I also saw Oppenheimer, and that was outstanding. I’ve been irritated by the “Barbie beats Oppenheimer at the box office” BS, however. Of course it did. Oppenheimer is rated R.

    • lisa says:

      for me it was The Godfather mansplaining, I cackled

      im italian american and even though ive seen The Godfather, I cant tell you how many times ive seen that exact conversation play out

      • Danbury says:

        And all the guys singing Matchbox Twenty KILLED me

      • Carrot says:

        Let me show you how…

      • The Matchbox 20 guitar playing scene absolutely KILLED me because STG I’ve lived through real life versions of this scenario!! In my early twenties, I used to have this friend group where anytime we had a big gathering/party/bonfire/whatever, it was inevitable that at some point in the night, the guys in the group would all break out their guitars for an impromptu “jam session” while us girls were basically expected to just sit there and admire their mediocre plunking! I still hate the song “Wonderwall” to this day because of that time period! 🤣🤣

    • aang says:

      My husband turned to me and said “you do that!” at the P&P joke. He was truly surprised that I’m not the only one.

      • Ula1010 says:

        Mattel would never do it but I would love to have a Depression Barbie

      • tealily says:

        @aang It’s so universal!

      • Carrot says:

        @Ula1010 Depression Barbie in flannel PJs with a supply of frosting in a can?

      • ama1977 says:

        My sister noted that the movie doesn’t need to be telling our business like that when the P&P reference was up. 😂

        Also, as someone with an unfortunately self-obsessed “musician” former boyfriend in her past, the “let me play guitar AT YOU” was all too familiar.

        It was so, so, so good!! Funny and witty but also so touching. I teared up at the thought of my daughter (who is not quite 11 and was seated beside me) pulling away, and again at America Ferrara just plainly saying what it feels like to be a woman in this culture. All of it. Yes.

  16. Becks1 says:

    I’m so glad for both these movies. I think Oppenheimer is going to do very well long term and even with “losing” to Barbie, 80 million is nothing to sneeze at.

    The thing that makes me happiest is that these are original, non comic book movies. Yes Barbie has a basis in an iconic toy but it’s still an original movie. I want the studios to see that people will pay for non comic book movies, non remake movies.

    I haven’t seen either yet. Will probably see Barbie this week and Oppenheimer next week.

    • Carrot says:

      Fully agree! Most of my friends, even the ones Stateside with me now, watch Korean, French, German, Norwegian, any good foreign stuff because of the stories! Everyone wants the stories

  17. mellie says:

    I went this weekend (after being a bit skeptical early on!) and I wore my Barbie pink because I was a big Barbie fan when I was young. I LOVED it. It was a great, feel-good movie. I’m ready to see it again. Great performances by all the cast.

  18. Memurs says:

    I’m dying to see this, but I live in Japan and it won’t come out locally until August 11th. The wait seems never ending!

  19. lisa says:

    I loved seeing all the people of all ages all in pink. my theater was sold out. I’m going to see it again next weekend. knowing republicans are mad is icing on the cake.

  20. Seraphina says:

    Saw Oppenheimer this weekend. GREAT movie. Wonderful performances. Highly recommend. And seeing everyone in Barbie pink or Barbie fashion for the Barbie movies was a great too.

  21. K says:

    We went yesterday and so many people were dressed up. Everyone was having a good time. I am thrilled Barbie has done so well. 💗

  22. ariel says:

    Saw it Friday. Took off work. And paid for my Barbie to see it to (not kidding). It was so much fun. And you have to love some plain spoken feminism.
    And the last line was CLASSIC.

    Also- the marketing stuff- which apparently cost another $100m- is brilliant- and covers so many different areas of consumerism and price-point. The whole thing is amazing.
    And the nyx barbie flip phone compact mirror has been sold out – it costs like $18, but someone is trying to sell it on poshmark for $75. The pull of Barbie marketing.

  23. Harper says:

    Put on my best pink outfit and saw it. I have never laughed and smiled so much in a movie. BRAVO GRETA!!! My favorite was the freeze framing and naming of all the Barbie (and Ken) outfits. Talk about a blast from the past.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I love all the ‘and Ken’ references, like the one in the mug shots!

    • Carrot says:

      My favorite might be reclaiming “crazy” because these days the one who plays the crazy card first wins and after Barbie, that might be over!

  24. msd says:

    Props to Robbie. This has made her a producer to be reckoned with, even though she did well immediately with I Tonya as her first project.

    Oppenheimer has undoubtedly benefited from the Barbenheimer phenomenon so no one on that team can really complain.

    And I’m still not convinced WB were solely motivated by trying to screw over Nolan. It’s classic counter programming to release two very different movies on the same date. Plus everyone assumed both Indiana Jones (flop) and Mission Impossible (underperforming) would do big business in July. There wasn’t much wiggle room.

    Speaking of Barbenheimer… you just know studio marketing teams will try to recreate this with other films. But they won’t be able to because, unlike most things nowadays, it genuinely sprung from the audience. They never learn the right lessons. I doubt they will learn the lesson about women being actual people who want to see movies either.

  25. Aimee says:

    In my theater you could tell who all was seeing Barbie cause they were all in pink! I saw quite a mix of people going to see it including men. Go Barbie!!!!

  26. Daisy says:

    Saw Oppenheimer on Saturday and loved it! Cillian and RDJ are just brilliant in it and hopefully this movie get Emily Blunt her Oscar nom. I’m absolutely sure this movie will be a huge Oscar player. Will watch Barbie this week as well, can’t wait! Also I don’t think Nolan cares that much? Oppenheimer is the biggest opening for one of his original films, it even beat Inception. Barbenheimer was great for his film in particular, they barely did any promotion and it was huge. And for Barbie love love that “a movie for girls” is smashing. Can’t wait for Ryan in particular, every review I’ve read keeps mentioning he’s wonderful in it.

  27. tealily says:

    I hope this makes the studios realize once and for all that 1.) the crowds (of all genders) will come out for a woman directed, woman focused project and 2.) we are DYING for some original fare. Not a franchise. Not a remake. Not a reboot. O-R-I-G-I-N-A-L. I can’t remember the last time I went to the movies not knowing what to expect. It felt so good!

  28. Ula1010 says:

    I can’t remember a movie-going experience that was so cheerful and fun. At my showing on Saturday, the crowd was into it from the moment the WB logo appeared. Lots of cheering and laughter throughout, and everyone was so friendly. It was a true community vibe. I feel so lucky that I had that experience.

    • Lisa says:

      Mine too!! Everyone in pink and sparkles just laughing and having fun. My group went to dinner before and the entire restaurant was like hi barbie!! Took pictures in the box and everything.

      In the theater everyone was excited and talking. I haven’t seen this kind of a reaction since I was a teen.

      This summer has had great movies and I’m sad they are pushing some back because I was excited about the movies again.

      But I will be going back to Barbie!!

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      In the showing I went the the crowd cheered when the pink WB logo appeared – everyone loved it and most people wore pink. Been a looong time since I’ve seen a movie grab people like this – props to Margot and Greta. Am glad Margot played Barbie – I couldn’t see Amy Schumer in the role at all.

      I loved Helen Mirren’s narration and the inclusion of Ruth Handler.

      Its going to be the movie to beat at award season.

    • cosmic_catastrophe says:

      Same here! I went to a ‘Barbie brunch’ screening at the Alamo, twinning in pink, Barbie shirts, and heart sunglasses with my bff, and it was such a great group experience. Tons of women wearing pink, complimenting and taking pictures for each other, and laughing together throughout.

      Afterward, we shopped around a bit and stopped by a winery – we were stopped by SO MANY women of all ages asking us about the movie, sharing the excitement. It was so fun to be part of this woman-centric shared pop culture moment!

  29. MaryContrary says:

    Took my 20 something kids to see it yesterday (hard to even get tickets-so many sold out shows!). My daughter and I wore pink. Super fun and some really hilarious lines. The sets and costumes were so good.

  30. Bingo says:

    I am so happy for Margot Robbie she has risen to be an outstanding producer. And an absolute powerhouse in Hollywood.

    Also so happy she took the lead when she wasn’t going to initially. I don’t think it would have been the same movie if Amy Schumer had played Barbie under Sony.

  31. Valentine says:

    I watched Barbie on Friday with my best friend and on Saturday I did the Barbenheimer double feature. I’m so glad I was part of this pop culture phenomenon. I literally not been this hype about movies since before the pandemic started.

  32. frontporchsittin says:

    They underestimated how much we need some lighthearted fun. We’re living in what often feels like a hellscape – give me a pink Corvette over Oppenheimer any day.

  33. Mrs. Smith says:

    Saw Barbie this weekend with a packed house!! I loved it so much and want to see it again in a theater. Margo nailed it and Ryan, well, you’ll have to see it to believe it.

  34. Chantale says:

    I am very happy for the actors in Barbie and not so much for Greta. Ufortunately I cannot separate her from the movie. I admire Jennifer Jason Leigh way too much. Greta relationship with her husband makes me wonder. Sorry, I am that petty.