South Africans all flocked to the cinemas this past weekend to watch the latest Barbie movie. According to Empire Entertainment, the film grossed R11.9 million in just two days during the film’s debut weekend.
The same can be said for other countries where both the Barbie movie and Oppenheimer dominated cinemas. The Barbie movie made over $337 million worldwide while Oppenheimer finished the weekend at $175 million.
The clear winner in the so-called Barbenheimer battle is the Barbie movie but its younger age restriction and light-hearted theme is definitely the reason why more people went to see it. There’s no doubt Oppenheimer will be an even bigger success as the weeks go by. The film was made on a $100 million budget and has already surpassed that on its opening weekend.
Barbie is directed by Lady Bird‘s Greta Gerwig and stars Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferell, Simu Liu and more. It follows the story of Barbie and Ken who venture beyond Barbie Land after Barbie has a crisis that causes her to question her world and her existence. As of writing, Barbie has received critical acclaim with a 90% approval rating on the aggregate website, Rotten Tomatoes.
The film is now the biggest industry opening in 2023 in 18 of those markets, including Australia, Brazil, and the UK, and set the record for the biggest Warner Bros. Pictures opening of all time in sixteen markets, including Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.
Globally (including South Africa), the film marks the largest opening for Greta Gerwig as a director and for Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and nearly every actor in the film, as well as the biggest opening for a movie based on a toy.
It will be interesting to see where the Barbie movie goes from here and how much money it makes before leaving cinemas.