“Barbie” has broken numerous records since its July 21 opening and the summer blockbuster is close to breaking another one.
Trailing behind “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” by an estimated $48 million, writer-director Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” appears destined to gain the top spot for highest grossing domestic film of 2023.
“Barbie” raked in a stunning $155 million domestically in its opening weekend and last week joined the $1 billion club in global box office sales – a feat only achieved by about 50 films in history, adjusted for inflation, Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, told CNN. While “Pink Fever” has slowed in the last week, “Barbie” is estimated to have earned $33.7 million this weekend to maintain its stronghold in the theaters.
The comedy about the iconic doll is estimated to have reached $525 million domestic and nearly $1.2 billion worldwide. “Barbie” took in $10 million Friday alone, earning an average above $11.3 million per day from August 5-11. “Barbie” passed the $500 million domestic mark in the middle of its third week, while “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” needed more than five weeks to reach the milestone.
The combined release of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” dubbed “Barbenheimer,” has become a pop culture sensation and one that might revive the struggling movie theater industry. Together, Barbenheimer was the fourth highest-grossing industry weekend of all time in North America, totaling $302 million. Most top-grossing films often involve elaborate action scenes and special effects, unlike “Barbenheimer.”
“I’ve been in this game for 30 years and the ‘Barbie’ and ‘Barbenheimer’ phenomenon is as unprecedented as it was unpredictable,” said Dergarabedian.
He added the movie’s marketing campaign was the first hint “Barbie” would be a box office smash.
“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,” said Dergarabedian.
In an interview with Collider last month, Margot Robbie, who produced the movie in addition to playing the titular character, shared a premonition she had at a greenlight meeting with studios.
“I think I told them they’d make a billion dollars which, maybe I was overselling, but we had a movie to make!” she said.
“Barbie” is distributed by Warner Bros., which is owned by CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.
CNN’s Eva Rothenberg contributed to this report.