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Barbie and Oppenheimer posters

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures / Universal Pictures

Barbenheimer weekend was a success, powering the box office to over $300 million in total weekend ticket sales. Read more about how the films Barbie and Oppenheimer performed opening weekend.

The phrase Barbenheimer became more popular as the films debuted in the box office the same weekend. It proved to be more than a beloved social media phrase, becoming a box office phenomenon.

The films compete with movies like Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Sound of Freedom, which didn’t seem like much compeititon to these two highly-anticipated films.

Moviegoers showed up for Greta Gerwig’s fantasy comedy Barbie film, which crushed film critics expectations with $155 million to land the biggest debut of the year. While the girlies put on their pinkest outfits to catch the long-awaited film, they also showed up to see Christopher Nolan’s historical drama Oppenheimer, which racked in a whopping $80.5 million in its opening weekend.

Drones of movie enthusiasts chose to view both films on the same day, despite the movies’ stark differences and twin release dates. Most ticket buyers decided to watch Oppenheimer first and end on a high note with the more comical Barbie movie.

“This is an unequivocally great weekend for moviegoing,” David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research tells Variety. “‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ are complementing each other at the box office, not taking audience from each other.”

It seems like social media has done it again, giving free marketing and promotion to the duo film release. The pop culture craze that is “Barbenheimer” helped make this the largest collective box office weekend of the post-pandemic era, and the fourth-largest overall weekend in history. Numbers! Keep, going Barbenheimer.

The top three weekends of all time were dominated by sequels of huge franchises including: Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“Studios gave audiences two uniquely different, smart and original stories that were meant for the big screen,” Michael O’Leary, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, the industry’s trade organization shared with Variety. “People recognized that something special was happening, and they wanted to be a part of it.”

Overall, Mattel and Warner Bros Studios major marketing campaign reigned supreme as Barbie had an excellent debut weekend. At the international box office, the film added $182 million for an impressive global total of $337 million.

The movie’s budget was $145 million, which dominated the cinematic world weeks before its box office debut. It even caused a shortage of pink clothing across the world and the rise in platinum blonde hair inquiries across beauty salons.

So while Mattel’s popular Barbie company is arguably the most beloved doll of all time, the movie surpassed all expectations.

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

Barbie broke several records and so did its’ director Gerwig. It was also the biggest opening weekend ever for a film directed by a woman.

Captain Marvel, which was co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, previously held the title with $153 million in 2019. Wonder Woman, from filmmaker Patty Jenkins, stood as the record-holder for a movie solely directed by a woman with $103 million in 2017.

Major congrats are in order for these two box-office smash hits.