“Barbie,” released in theaters over the weekend, is one of the most anticipated movies of 2023. Alongside the release of “Oppenheimer,” the box office saw strong results for both movies and set several records.
Released by Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD) and toy company Mattel Inc (NASDAQ: MAT), “Barbie” brought fans and movie goers to movie theaters, setting records and strong box office performance.
“Barbie” posted a weekend box office of $155 million domestically and has grossed $337 million worldwide. The weekend’s box office ranks first domestically for 2023.
“Oppenheimer,” which was released by Comcast Corp (NASDAQ: CMCSA) unit Universal, grossed $81 million in its opening weekend domestically and has grossed $174.2 million worldwide.
The $302 million in box office for the weekend is ranked fourth all-time, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal citing Comscore data.
Both movies were helped by the viral sensation known as “Barbenheimer,” which saw calls for people to go see both movies in the same opening weekend, or on the same night in many cases. While the movie’s respective audiences might not be interested in one another, it could have helped increased interest.
“Barbie” also set the record for the highest opening weekend for a movie directed by a female, with Greta Gerwig behind the camera for the film.
Another record set over the weekend: the first time an opening weekend had one movie gross $100 million or more and another movie also opened with $80 million or more in box office receipts.
Women made up 65% of moviegoers for “Barbie,” and people under 25 years of age represented 40% of the tickets bought for the movie, according to the Associated Press.
Over at “Oppenheimer,” the movie saw a different audience, with 62% of movie goers male and 23% over the age of 25.
“Oppenheimer” was also helped by playing in screens from Imax Corporation (NYSE: IMAX), including several around the country that played director Christopher Nolan’s 70mm (0.2297 foot) format.
Imax represented 26% of the domestic box office weekend for “Oppenheimer” and 20% of the global box office weekend. The movie will play on most Imax screens for three weeks.
“This is a phenomenon beyond compare,” said Imax CEO Rich Gelfond. “Around the world, we’ve seen sellouts at 4:00 a.m. shows and people traveling hours across borders to see ‘Oppenheimer’ in IMAX 70mm (0.2297 foot) .”
The movie ranks among the top five box office opening weekends for Imax ever and set several records, including the biggest opening weekend of 2023 and the best July opening weekend ever both domestically and worldwide.
While there is still over five months to go in the year, the two movies could go down as the biggest Hollywood storylines of the year and among the highest grossing.
With the ongoing Hollywood strike, some 2023 movies could see release dates pushed back or the lack of a full marketing blitz from the movie’s stars and red carpet premieres.
AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings (NYSE: CNK) and Imax are out with press releases following the huge weekend.
Cinemark said the weekend could be one of the best in company history.
“People love coming together to experience great storytelling in a movie theater, as proven yet again by the sheer volume of consumers who visited our locations to see ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ during opening weekend,” said Cinemark Chief Marketing and Content Officer Wanda Gierhart. “It appears Barbie actually is everything.”
AMC reported that it saw 7.8 million movie goers over the weekend at its theaters around the world. This marked the biggest weekend for the movie theater company since 2019 based on attendance and revenue, setting post-COVID-19 records.
Along with high attendance and movie ticket revenue, AMC said it saw its second-highest revenue day for food and beverage in company history on Saturday, ranking only behind “Avengers: Endgame” and its opening Saturday.
Eighty-seven thousand AMC Stubs members bought tickets for showings on the same day.
The strong performance of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” could result in a 2023 top 10 movie list that includes two new originals alongside several sequels and retellings.
In 2022, the box office was dominated by sequels domestically.
“Barbie” ranks eleventh in 2023 after one weekend and should continue to climb the charts. “Oppenheimer” ranks 21st domestically for 2023 and could find its way into the top 10.
Produced in association with Benzinga