Barbie earns $1 billion at the box office worldwide

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After having the best opening ever for a female director, Greta Gerwig’s film based on the Mattel doll has become the second film of 2023 to take $1 billion at the box office globally.

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A still image from the Barbie movie.

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has officially made $1 billion globally at the box office, becoming the fastest Warner Bros. release to hit the milestone. It’s the second film to hit the milestone so far in 2023 behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Barbie is the first movie from a solo female director to hit the mark, joining just a few other female-directed films that have grossed over a billion dollars internationally: Frozen and Frozen II (both co-directed by Jennifer Lee alongside Chris Buck) and Captain Marvel (co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck).

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“It’s a good club to be in,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. Pictures president of domestic distribution, in a statement to Variety.

Barbie opened strong on July 21st, taking $155 million at the box office during its opening weekend in the US in what was the highest domestic opening ever for a female-directed movie, dethroning Captain Marvel’s $153 million. Alongside Oppenheimer, the Christopher Nolan biopic that released the same day, the two movies contributed to the fourth-biggest box office weekend in US history and, as The AV Club notes, the largest that didn’t contain an Avengers or Star Wars movie.

“The massive, overwhelming response we’ve seen out there proves what we’ve known from the beginning: that ‘Barbie’ is not only an incredibly special film, but clearly the theatrical event of the summer, if not the year,” Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. Pictures president of domestic distribution, said in a statement after Barbie’s opening weekend.

There are a few lessons to take from Barbie’s success. Chief among them, I’d argue, is that Gerwig — who also co-wrote the film alongside regular collaborator Noah Baumbach — deserves to be given as much money as she wants to make whatever she pleases. (She’s already attached to write and direct two Netflix films based on C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series.)

We can also expect more from Mattel. The toy maker will be keen to dig out additional Barbie-sized successes from its catalog. Prior to the release of Barbie, The New Yorker reported that the toy company is considering adapting everything from Hot Wheels to Uno.

Barbie stars Margot Robbie as the sublime titular protagonist, while Ryan Gosling’s job is Ken.

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