Barbie Hits the Billion-Dollar Mark at the Global Box Office

Director Greta Gerwig breaks records

by Jonas Reichel on August 9, 2023

Unbelievable: The "Barbie" movie about the famous plastic doll has already achieved a phenomenal success at the global box office after only 17 days and is currently the second most successful movie of the year.

It's a unique success story: "Barbie" has been in theaters for a mere 3 weeks and it already stands a good chance of becoming the most-watched movie of the year. The story of Barbie and Ken recently surpassed the billion-dollar mark with its box-office takings, making it a hit that surely no one would have anticipated when a "Barbie" movie adaptation was first announced.

The reasons for this huge success are probably many and varied. On the one hand, it is an absolute favorite among critics and viewers, scoring 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and a critics' average of 80 on Metascore. On the other hand, the success is probably also thanks to the superb marketing campaign. Anyone who is regularly on social media is unlikely to have missed the hashtag "Barbenheimer". During the shooting of the film, photos from the set were also published over and over again, showing Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in brightly colored outfits hanging out in Venice Beach, for example. This led to a number of collaborations with brands such as Airbnb, Google, Crocs and TikTok. If one combines these versatile aspects with one another - and includes the word-of-mouth advertising factor - the result became a campaign that was almost impossible to resist.

But the success includes another special aspect: Greta Gerwig goes down in Hollywood history as the most successful female director of all time, thus displacing the previous title holder and "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins.

The other part of the Barbenheimer phenomenon, Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer", meanwhile, has to be content with a box office result of currently 560 million dollars. That's surely an impressive figure, too, but the winner of the box-office duel between the two unequal films should be clear.

The challenge now is to knock "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" off its title as the most successful film of the year. The animated film about the famous plumber was able to bring in more than 1.3 billion dollars worldwide and is thereby relatively close to "Barbie". So it may only be a matter of time before more records are broken.

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