Luis Ernesto Quintana Barney
(CNN) “Barbie” has broken numerous records since it opened on July 21, and the summer blockbuster is close to breaking another.
Behind “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” by an estimated $48 million, “Barbie,” from writer-director Greta Gerwig, looks poised to win the top spot as the highest-grossing film of 2023 in America.
“Barbie” grossed $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 movies in history, adjusted by inflation, Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, told CNN. While “pink fever” has slowed in the past week, “Barbie” is estimated to have earned $33.7 million this weekend to maintain its stronghold in theaters.
The comedy about the iconic doll is estimated to have grossed $525 million domestically and nearly $1.2 billion worldwide. “Barbie” grossed $10 million on Friday alone, earning an average of more than $11.3 million per day from August 5-11. “Barbie” surpassed the national mark of $500 million 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,” became a pop culture sensation and could revive a struggling movie industry. Together, “Barbenheimer” was the industry’s fourth-highest-grossing weekend of all time in North America, grossing $302 million. Most blockbuster movies tend to include 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 is unpredictable,” Dergarabedian said.
He added that the film’s marketing campaign was the first hint that “Barbie” would be a blockbuster.
“The ‘Barbie’ marketing campaign set in 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 that something special and unique was going to create a much larger than expected outcome for the film, not only for its opening weekend, but for its worldwide theatrical release,” said Dergarabedian.
In an interview with Collider last month, Margot Robbie, who produced the film as well as playing the title character, shared a premonition she had at a green light meeting with the studios.
“I think I told them they were going to make a billion dollars, which, maybe, was overselling, but we had a movie to make!” he 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.
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