It’s incredibly likely that you’ve seen either Barbie or Oppenheimer by now. After all, it’s been nearly two months since the two blockbuster movies were released, and frankly it’s difficult to remember a time when there was so much buzz about a set of films.
The sheer number of articles and think-pieces written and shared in the run up to their release can partly be explained by the hilarious contrast between the two movies. First, we have Barbie: Greta Gerwig’s pastel pink feminist meditation on being a woman in the patriarchy, told via the story of Mattel’s most famous toy doll. Then, standing in the corner and broodingly smoking a cigar from under a wide-brimmed hat, we have Oppenheimer: Christopher Nolan’s very serious historical three-hour black and white number, about the creation of the atomic bomb.
Adding further to the frenzy, Mattel went all out with its marketing campaign, turning cities pink and collaborating with a number of major brands and magazines: lead actor Margot Robbie graced American Vogue dressed up as a version of Barbie, while the Google pages for Robbie, Gerwig and Barbie herself were given a pink twinkle.
So it was no real surprise that both films utterly smashed the Box Office: Barbie has so far made a whopping $1.4 billion worldwide, while Oppenheimer has made $912 million.
So although the momentum around the films has slowed down a little, the success of both Barbie and Oppenheimer continues. Barbie’s takings makes it the highest-grossing film of the year – eclipsing the takings of The Super Mario Bros. Movie by $57 million, and earning $572 million more than Marvel’s May-released blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3..
“I wanted to make something anarchic and wild and funny and cathartic,” said Gerwig to The New York Times after Barbie’s stellar opening. “And the idea that it’s actually being received that way, it’s sort of extraordinary.”
Meanwhile Oppenheimer has become the third highest-grossing film of the year. Its earnings have not only dwarfed the numbers of Nolan’s last film, 2020’s Tenet, which made $366 million, but Oppenheimer has become the highest-grossing biopic of all time. The second most lucrative biopic film is 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which made $903 million.
Tom Cruise’s latest film, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, which was released on July 14, has also enjoyed major Box Office success, raking in $566 million worldwide against a $291 million budget.
However, despite making over half a billion dollars, Dead Reckoning has made far less than the franchise’s last two films. Rogue Nation and Fallout made $682.7 million and $791.7 million respectively.