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Barbie: Official trailer
Barbie and Oppenheimer have officially been out in cinemas for two days as the greatest box office (and social media) battle of the year hots up.
Barbie, in particular, has waged an unprecedented media campaign, dominating popular culture from fashion to music.
As Hollywood reels from a writers and actors strike and a succession of devastating box office flops, this cleverly manufactured Barbenheimer opening weekend is already smashing revenue records.
As hoped, many audiences are going to see both films, either as a double-header or separately across the weekend.
Even Tom Cruise, whose own latest movie appears to have been hit by the dual releases, has spoken out about his plans for which film to watch first.
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Cruise told Variety: “Friday, I’ll see Oppenheimer first and then Barbie on Saturday.”
His latest Mission Impossible film, Dead Reckoning Part 1, took $78.491million across its five0-day opening weekend. A strong but not extraordinary result and in line with the previous couple in the franchise. However, they also had very strong “legs” continuing to preform steadily and well for weeks after.
His requested extended IMAX run was denied in favour of Oppenheimer and this weekend, Mission Impossible 7 is estimated to fall to around $20million at the US box office as ticket buyers flock to the two new releases.
To Hollywood’s extreme relief, Barbie and Oppenheimer’s takes are already well up on estimates and predicted to smash all expectations.
Oppenheimer: Official trailer (2023)
Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan might have seemed the heavyweight favourite going in. His US opening weekends for Batman films The Dark Knight Rises and The Dark Knight, were $160.9 million and $158.4 million, respectively.
Greta Gerwig is a critics’ darling, but her beloved Little Women opened in the US on just $16.7million.
Despite one film ostensibly seeming far more serious and weighty, both Barbie and Oppenheimer have already scored impressive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes at 90 and 93% approval ratings.
However, it is now clear that one movie will make double or more than the other over the all-important
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At this stage so far, Barbie is now on track to take at least $150million this weekend, with potential for slightly more. This would make it the biggest opening of the year so far (and likely at all) and the biggest for a female-directed film in history.
The Margo Robbie vehicle is also tracking to rake in at least another $120 worldwide.
The Cillian Murphy-led Oppenheimer is looking set to make at least $75 million this weekend in the US and up to $90 million overseas, a remarkable result for a historical story and dialogue-based film with little direct action.
The conversation for a while has touted a billion-dollar Barbie, but that is now looking more and more likely.
As Hollywood reels from hugely disappointing blockbuster busts, suddenly it is looking for one of the biggest combined opening weekends in history.
The recent Indiana Jones Dial of Destiny sequel opened to a catastrophic $60million and has only hit $312million worldwide. Considering it cost $300million to make, plus marketing costs, it is projected to lose up to $200million.
Similarly, Justice League DC franchise latest The Flash closed its run on a disastrous $268million on at least a $200million budget.
Hollywood will be breathing a small sigh of relief this weekend and also, perhaps, noting that it is two entirely original, non-franchise films that are bringing in the much-needed money.
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