Barbie is now the highest domestic grossing Warner Brothers film ever

Another point for Barbie! For those keeping score, Barbie has made more than $1 billion and counting at the worldwide box office, Greta Gerwig has become the highest grossing female director of all time, Margot Robbie is set to make $50 million on the backend, and it brought people back to the movies who hadn’t gone to a theater in years. Barbie has now become the highest domestic grossing Warner Bros film of all time, taking the crown from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Say it with me: She’s Barbie. He’s just Batman.

Sorry, Batman, Barbie is king.

Greta Gerwig’s smash-hit “Barbie” how now surpassed the domestic gross of Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film “The Dark Knight” to become the highest-grossing domestic release in Warner Bros. history with a whopping $537.5 million, besting the Batman sequel’s $536 million.

The Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling-fronted film is also now within reach of the domestic gross of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($574 million) to become the highest-grossing release of 2023.

The film’s worldwide total sits at $1.2 billion and counting, surpassing the $1.1 billion of “Captain Marvel” to solidify “Barbie” as the highest-grossing film directed by a woman ever. Previously, the film had surpassed “Wonder Woman” to become the highest-grossing solo female directorial effort, but “Captain Marvel” saw Anna Boden co-directing with Ryan Fleck.

The massive $162 million opening weekend for “Barbie” marked a career-best for Gerwig, Robbie and Gosling, but thanks to strong reviews and word of mouth, the film’s box office legs have stretched far and wide, making it a true sensation.

The besting of “The Dark Knight” marks another twist in the Barbenheimer competition, as Gerwig and Nolan went head-to-head in July with “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” released on the same weekend, only to see both films come out a smashing success. Nolan’s three-hour, R-rated drama for Universal has grossed $266 million domestically and $650 million worldwide so far.

[From Yahoo]

I love that Barbie keeps setting all of these records, but I really freaking love how full-circle it is that it knocked a different Nolan film out of that spot. He was already salty about Barbie’s release date, so I am sure he is less than thrilled to have been dethroned by it. I’m also sure there were Warner Bros execs popping bubbles at the news too.

But, of course, the real winners in all of Barbie’s success are women and female filmmakers because in Hollywood, it’s all about that money, baby, and moviegoers are clearly making a statement. The more audiences show up for movies like Barbie, the greater the chance that studios will invest in more female filmmakers making more women-centric movies like it.

photos credit: Warner Bros/Avalon, and via Instagram

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23 Responses to “Barbie is now the highest domestic grossing Warner Brothers film ever”

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  1. Boxy Lady says:

    Call me a pessimist but I am not sure that the success of Barbie will translate into needing more female directors and female-centric films. So far, the studio executives are interpreting this success as, “We need more movies about toys!” 🙄

    • Diffraction says:

      I am going to SCREAM if their response to Barbie is, “Let’s make a Polly Pocket movie! Women!!”

    • Becks1 says:

      Randall Park has a great quote basically saying that – the takeaway here isn’t “make more movies about toys,” the takeaway should be to make more movies by women and featuring women and centered on women.

      • Normades says:

        Yes I saw that and he’s absolutely correct. Barbie could make another billion and film execs will still not get it.

      • DK says:

        @Normades, 💯!

        And that’s why maybe we should replace studio execs with AI and pay actors, writers and crew much more (and everything else they are seeking for their contracts.)

        Studio execs get paid obscene amounts of money to misunderstand audiences again and again, and more often than not, to perpetuate a racist, misogynist status quo.

        Gems like Barbie tend to get made in spite of execs, not because of them.

        Go WGA and SAG-AFTRA!

    • tamsin says:

      “We need more movies about toys!” 🙄

      Doesn’t that just describe a whole mentality, though?

  2. Mrs. Smith says:

    It’s a major indicator of a lot of things: superhero fatigue, original storytelling sells tickets, all movies don’t have to be serious or action or slapstick or aimed at little kids, girls/women will show up if there are fun movies made for them (they have money too!). Barbie helped prove and underscore those important points and remind the mostly male filmmakers and studio heads that they have ignored a big segment of movie fans. I am so proud of Barbie for this!

  3. Digital Unicorn says:

    This will make Nolan even more salty. Bring it on I say.

    • Becks1 says:

      He might be a little salty about the Dark Knight but I’m sure he’s doing okay considering Oppenheimer’s success (and it is a huge success, considering its rated R and is 3 hours long. 3 hours!! lordy.)

      But, can we talk about how Super Mario Bros made 575 million? That was one of the worst movies I’ve EVER seen. Oh god it was so bad. It did that well at the box office?!?!!??!

      • EveV says:

        @Becks – I am so shocked that Mario Bros3 is the movie to beat for 2023 too! Like, how?!
        Also, I don’t know why Nolan is so salty about the timing of the Barbie release. I don’t think Oppenheimer would have done nearly as well without the Barbenheimer hype and I will die on that hill! lol

  4. Carrie says:

    Friend and I went to see Barbie. Underwhelmed.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think the movie is all about expectations. If you go in with super high expectations, then its just meh. If you go in with low expectations (which is what I did, since I didn’t think the trailers were as amazing as others did), then you’re going to have a better experience.

      It was fun, enjoyable, hit you over the head with its theme and messaging. Best movie of the year? Probably not. We’re seeing Oppenheimer tonight so I’ll be able to compare more, lol.

      • Normades says:

        I went in with big expectations and loved it. There were 2 plot twists that really got me. Afterwards no film is ever perfect but there is so much that they did right with this film. I will prob go see it again.

    • Love says:

      Me too. Walked in wild mild expectations and regret the 2 hours I spent watching this

  5. SarahCS says:

    I love what they’re continuing to do with the marketing and yes, word of mouth is clearly having an impact alongside the repeat viewings. I felt there was just so much in the first one I left wanting to go back for a second viewing even knowing the story.

  6. AllyBakes says:

    I hope the studios will learn from this but…I doubt it. Netflix had a great documentary on women content in the media called This Changes Everything. Link to a preview on it

    • North of Boston says:

      Linda Holmes (from Pop Culture Happy Hour, and formerly at Television Without Pity) has a great essay about the lack of female driven films in the mainstream. It highlights how people (not just women, but people) can turn out in droves for those films, but it is usually framed as a surprising exception

      The essay is from ~ 10 years ago, but sadly, it still pretty much applies. Maybe, maybe the needle is starting to move? With Barbie and EEAAO and hopefully others…but I’m not super confident.

  7. Dena says:

    It was the first movie I’ve gone to see in a theatre since 2019. I really enjoyed it (hated the end scene) but, while I hope it’ll open more doors for women directors and women-led films, I have my doubts. The men at the top seem to be so out of touch with the realities of the world today and they just want the status quo.

  8. Lily says:

    Adjusting the ticket prices for inflation I bet Harry Potter still is #1.

  9. AC says:

    Agree! HW finally got the memo on making films and shows for women and esp a winning formula is having a Diverse cast and filmmakers.