It seems like nobody wants to go to the movies anymore. Unless “Barbie” is on the big screen. The colossal hit has become a blockbuster, passing $1 billion in global ticket sales in just three weeks.
The film isn’t just killing it here in America; it has performed well in the UK, Mexico, Australia, and even China, the second-largest viewing market in the world.
The movie is making history on multiple fronts. The film’s director and writer, Greta Gerwig, became the first solo female director with a billion-dollar movie. Margot Robbie, who played the title character and produced the film, knew she was sitting on a gold mine months ago. In a meeting with studios, she told Collider in an interview last month, “I think I told them they’d make a billion dollars which, maybe I was overselling, but we had a movie to make.”
A massive contributor to Barbie’s success is that it opened up with another huge film, Oppenheimer. Both movies had been promoted for months, and there was tremendous buzz surrounding them. Fans came out in droves the week they debuted, making movie-going something people actually got off their couches and turned off Netflix long enough to do.
Paul Dergarabedian is a senior media analyst at Comscore. He told CNN, “The marketing campaign for ‘Barbie’ set into motion a chain of events that led to the word ‘Barbenheimer’ being added to the popular lexicon by virtue of its shared release date with ‘Oppenheimer,’ and that’s when we all knew something very special and unique was going to create a much bigger than expected outcome for the film not only for the opening weekend, but for its global run in theaters.”
To put Barbie’s success into context, there have about 50 movies that have hit the billion-dollar mark.