‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ Weekend Was a Real Team Effort

The ill-matched duo of the hot pink comedy “Barbie” and the brooding period drama “Oppenheimer” sold far more than expected movie ticket sales over the weekend, pushing overall domestic box office earnings to $312 million, according to the latest estimates, but that could change when the final tally is released later Monday. It’s already the biggest weekend sales in North America since 2019 and the fourth largest ever when adjusted for inflation.

It’s perhaps a sign that Hollywood has finally recovered from the pandemic. (Whether the film industry can keep up its momentum as it deals with double strikes by writers and actors is another matter.)

The weekend was also notable for its diversity, with “Barbie” pulling in $162 million and “Oppenheimer” $82.4 million, with the remaining titles including “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1” and “The Sound of Freedom” adding nearly $70 million.

Weekends with the highest domestic ticket sales have typically been dominated by one blockbuster. During its highest-grossing weekend in April 2019, “Avengers: Endgame” accounted for nearly 90% of the box office. By contrast, “Barbie” accounted for just over half of the weekend’s box office.

The bizarre combination of a children’s toy comedy and an R-rated biopic about the father of the atomic bomb was well received on its opening weekend by an audience of about 200,000, who bought double-feature tickets nicknamed “Barbenheimer” (running time: just under five hours).

For movie theater owners, the nationwide sellout suggested that people were ready to go to theaters and watch a wider variety of films. Audiences were about 60 percent female for “Barbie” and about 60 percent male for “Oppenheimer,” meaning that each had a broader appeal than many originally expected.

brooks burns and Christine Chan Contributed to the report.

Related Articles

Back to top button