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Barbie Movie Tops Box Office, Breaks Record for Women Directors

Barbie shatters records for female directors with historic $1 billion ticket sales, marking a groundbreaking achievement in the film industry.
Barbie movie shatters records for female directors with historic $1 billion ticket sales, marking a groundbreaking achievement in the film industry. Credit: UKinUSA / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

In a groundbreaking achievement for women directors, the movie ‘Barbie’ has soared to unprecedented success, surpassing a remarkable milestone of $1 billion in global ticket sales.

This feat was accomplished in a mere 17 days since its release, setting a new record for female directors, previously held by Patty Jenkins, renowned for her work on ‘Wonder Woman.’

People behind the success of Barbie

The credit for this phenomenal success goes to Greta Gerwig, the director and co-writer of ‘Barbie.’ This weekend alone, the movie raked in an additional $53 million from 4,178 theaters across North America and an impressive $74 million internationally, propelling its total worldwide earnings to a staggering $1.03 billion, as reported by the studio on Sunday.

Headlined and produced by the talented Margot Robbie, ‘Barbie’ has dominated the top spot at the box office for three consecutive weeks and shows no signs of slowing down.

It surpassed the $400 million mark in the United States and the $500 million mark internationally faster than any other film from the studio, even outpacing the immensely popular ‘Harry Potter’ series.

This momentous achievement not only cements ‘Barbie’ as one of the highest-grossing movies of all time but also marks a significant breakthrough for women in the film industry.

“As distribution chiefs, we’re not often rendered speechless by a film’s performance, but Barbillion has blown even our most optimistic predictions out of the water,” said Jeff Goldstein and Andrew Cripps, who are responsible for overseeing the movie’s distribution both domestically and internationally, in a joint statement.

Modern box office records

In the history of modern box office records, only 53 movies have managed to cross the impressive $1 billion mark, without considering inflation.

Now, ‘Barbie’ stands as the highest-grossing film directed by a woman, surpassing the global earnings of ‘Wonder Woman,’ which amounted to $821.8 million.

Though ‘Barbie’ holds this groundbreaking title, there are still three movies co-directed by women that have earned more. ‘Frozen’ and ‘Frozen 2,’ both co-directed by Jennifer Lee, achieved remarkable success with earnings of $1.3 billion and $1.45 billion, respectively.

Additionally, ‘Captain Marvel,’ co-directed by Anna Boden, also outperformed ‘Barbie’ with a total of $1.1 billion in global ticket sales.

However, ‘Barbie’ managed to overtake ‘Captain Marvel’ in the United States, amassing $459.4 million compared to ‘Captain Marvel’s’ $426.8 million, thus establishing a new North American record for live-action movies directed by women.

Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, co-chairs and CEOs of Warner Bros., expressed their admiration for Greta Gerwig’s directorial prowess in a statement. They praised her brilliance and dedication in creating a movie that caters to Barbie fans of all ages, which is undoubtedly reflected in the film’s phenomenal success on the big screen.

The ‘Barbenheimer’ fever

Moviegoers have been indulging in a unique movie experience by pairing a viewing of ‘Barbie’ with Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer,’ creating a double-bill known as Barbenheimer.

Nolan’s film has also achieved a significant milestone, crossing the $500 million mark globally within three weeks. Its current worldwide earnings stand at an impressive $552.9 million, surpassing the performance of his 2017 film ‘Dunkirk’ ($527 million), making it Nolan’s fifth highest-grossing movie to date.

In addition to this, ‘Oppenheimer’ now ranks among the four top-grossing biographical films ever, joining the ranks of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘The Passion of the Christ,’ and ‘American Sniper.’ Moreover, it claims the title of the biggest World War II movie of all time.

The success of both ‘Barbie‘ and ‘Oppenheimer’ is undeniable, and with extended theatrical rollouts, it is highly anticipated that they will continue to break even more records in the weeks to come.

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