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Barbie Breaks Box Office Record, Overtaking The Dark Knight

Greta Gerwig’s comedy-drama film, Barbie, has accomplished a remarkable feat by shattering a longstanding box office record previously held by Christopher Nolan’s superhero blockbuster, The Dark Knight. The much-awaited adaptation of the Mattel toy franchise, released alongside Nolan’s Oppenheimer, sparked an extraordinary joint publicity storm playfully dubbed Barbenheimer.

According to Variety, Barbie made an impressive $26 million at the US box office on Monday (24 July), surpassing the highest Monday gross ever recorded for a Warner Bros. film. The previous record-holder, Nolan’s Batman sequel, The Dark Knight, had earned $24.6 million (unadjusted for inflation).

Warner Bros. is celebrating Barbie as a massive financial success, having amassed a staggering $162 million in the US and a remarkable $337 million globally during its opening weekend, as reported by The Independent. Notably, the film’s debut marked the biggest opening weekend of the year, even outperforming the highly anticipated children’s animation, The Super Mario Bros Movie.

Simultaneously, Oppenheimer, a biographical drama following the life of nuclear scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer portrayed by Cillian Murphy, also garnered success at the box office. With earnings of $80.5 million in the US and $174.2 million globally during its opening weekend, the film received widespread acclaim, earning a near-perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Film critics have lavished praise on both Barbie and Oppenheimer for their distinctiveness and creative brilliance. Oppenheimer earned accolades for its compelling portrayal of the renowned scientist, while Barbie impressed audiences with its inventive storytelling and impeccable craftsmanship.

Notably, in a glowing five-star review for The Independent, critic Clarisse Loughrey hailed Barbie as a testament to the potential of creativity even within a capitalist framework. Loughrey’s review emphasized the film’s timely release, coinciding with a push from creative forces for fair wages and protection against the threat of AI replacing human artistic labor.

The phenomenon of Barbenheimer undeniably played a pivotal role in boosting the success of both films at the box office. The simultaneous release of these highly anticipated movies attracted audiences from all walks of life, with Oppenheimer even benefiting from ticket sales due to sold-out Barbie screenings. Both films managed to outperform the recent Tom Cruise blockbuster, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, highlighting the immense impact and appeal of Barbenheimer.

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