Barbie joins one-billion-dollar club in record-breaking run for Greta Gerwig

6 August 2023, 20:54 | Updated: 17 November 2023, 11:24

Greta Gerwig at Barbie Premiere
Britain Barbie Premiere. Picture: PA

The film, starring Margot Robbie, has sat comfortably at the top of the box office since its release.

Greta Gerwig should be feeling closer to fine these days. With just three weeks in theatres, Barbie is set to sail past one billion US dollars (£784 million) in global ticket sales, breaking a record for female directors that was previously held by Patty Jenkins, who helmed Wonder Woman.

Barbie, which Gerwig directed and co-wrote, added another 53 million dollars (£41.5 million) from 4,178 North American locations this weekend according to studio estimates on Sunday.

The Margot Robbie-led and produced film has been comfortably seated in first place for three weeks and it’s hardly finished yet.

Not Real News
Magot Robbie has both starred in and produced the record-breaking film (Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Warner Bros said the film will cross one billion dollars before the end of the day.

“As distribution chiefs, we’re not often rendered speechless by a film’s performance, but Barbillion has blown even our most optimistic predictions out of the water,” said Jeff Goldstein and Andrew Cripps, who oversee domestic and international distribution for the studio, in a joint statement.

In modern box office history, just 53 movies have made over a billion, not accounting for inflation, and Barbie is now the biggest to be directed by one woman, surpassing Wonder Woman’s 821.8-million-dollar (£644 million) global total.

Three movies that were co-directed by women are still ahead of Barbie, including Frozen (1.3 billion dollars/£1.01 billion) and Frozen 2 (1.45 billion dollars/£1.13 billion) both co-directed by Jennifer Lee and Captain Marvel (1.1 billion dollars/£862 million), co-directed by Anna Boden.

Barbie has passed Captain Marvel domestically with 459.4 million dollars (£360.3 million) versus 426.8 million dollars (£334 million), thereby claiming the North American record for live-action movies directed by women.

New competition came this weekend in the form of the animated, PG-rated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and the Jason Statham shark sequel, Meg 2: The Trench, both of which were neck-and-neck with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, also in its third weekend, for the second-place spot.

Jason Statham in Meg 2
Jason Statham’s Meg 2: The Trench slid into second place at the box office (Warner Bros Pictures/AP)

Meg 2 ultimately managed to sneak ahead and land in second place.

It overcame abysmal reviews to score a 30-million-dollar (£28 million) opening weekend from 3,503 locations. The Warner Bros release, directed by Ben Wheatley, currently has a 29% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes and a B- CinemaScore from audiences. The thriller was released in 3D, which accounted for 22% of its first weekend business.

Third place went to Oppenheimer, which added 28.7 million dollars (£22.5 million) from 3,612 locations in North America, bringing its domestic total to 228.6 million dollars (£179.3 million).

In just three weeks, the J Robert Oppenheimer biopic starring Cillian Murphy become the highest grossing R-rated film of the year (ahead of John Wick Chapter 4) and the sixth-biggest of the year overall, surpassing Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Rami Malek Oppenheimer premier
Rami Malek is among the stars in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Oppenheimer also celebrated a landmark, crossing 500 million dollars (£393.2 million) globally in three weeks. Its worldwide tally is currently 552.9 million dollars (£433.5 million), which puts it ahead of Dunkirk, which clocked out with 527 million dollars (£413.3 million) in 2017 and has become Nolan’s fifth-biggest movie ever.

It is now among the four top grossing biographies ever (company includes Bohemian Rhapsody, The Passion of the Christ and American Sniper) and the biggest Second World War movie of all time.

Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was close behind in fourth place with an estimated 28 million dollars (£21.9 million) from 3,858 theatres in North America.

Since opening on Wednesday, the film, which is riding on excellent reviews and audience scores, has earned 43.1 million dollars (£33.8 million).

By Press Association

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