At a time when Hollywood is reeling from a historic double whammy by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, the film industry is poised to see a big weekend at the box office with the highly anticipated Warner Bros./Mattel toy adaptation. Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s three-hour World War II-era drama Oppenheimer reaping a combined global debut of over $260 million.
Barbie, which has far greater presales than Disney’s The Little Mermaid ($95.5 million), there is a crazy range of projections from the state 90-125 million dollars. Warners is making sure calls for 75 million dollars in 4,200 theaters, but rivals are confident that this dollop of a comedy starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling will rake in big bucks. world, Barbie looking around 165 million dollars: 60-65 million dollars from 69 offshore markets, including France and Korea among the headliners on Wednesday, followed by Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia and all of Latin America on Thursday, and then the UK and China on Friday.
Meanwhile, Universal Nolan’s first film, boldly dated to the same weekend as Toy Story from the director’s former studio, is seeking 40-50 million dollars domestically in 3,600 theaters, with another 45 million dollars abroad for a near 100 million dollars global start at high levels. If these numbers pan out, it’s an impressive start for a 3-hour adult film.
No Rotten Tomatoes scores have been recorded for either title, but word from the console isn’t early Oppenheimer The show is mesmerizing, and easily one of the top contenders of this Oscar season.
Many ticket buyers are already planning double features – with dinner planned in between. AMC’s #1 chain is so excited it’s reporting that more than 40,000 AMC Stubs members have purchased advance tickets to see both titles on the same day. Stars like Tom Cruise have taken to social media to say it’s a great weekend to go to the movies, with talent from rival studios showing mutual love for each other’s fare.
It’s a bad time for the industry: There’s a battle on the streets and a boom at the box office; 2023 is already 13% ahead of last year at more than $5 billion. The hope is that SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP can reach an agreement so that post-pandemic box office doesn’t go off course and affect the fall film festival calendar of theatrical releases and movie premieres.
In the US and Canada, Barbie will have fan previews on Wednesday — known as “Barbie Blowout Parties” — in 500 locations. Thursday’s 3,400-page previews begin at 3 p.m. It will be played in Dolby, PLF, Dine-Ins and Drive-ins, for a total of 9,000 screens.
Meanwhile, Barbie She won’t make her grand entrance in Japan until August 11th for the Oboni holidays, while the Middle East has been pushed back to August 31st. The latter usually indicates some censorship concerns; Barbie it is already banned in Vietnam. Great Britain and Australia can shine.
RELATED: ‘Barbie’ Banned in Vietnam Over Map Showing China’s Claims in the South China Sea
Complications here involve the last direct action The Little Mermaidwhich grossed $64 million at the box office and in live-action in 2015 Cinderella ($68 million in likes for likes at today’s rates), 2018 Mamma Mia!: Here we go again ($49 million) and even as early as 2008 Sex and the City ($38 million).
Barbie as an IP resonates in many areas around the world, but kids in Asia didn’t grow up playing with the doll, we get it. Even though the movie will be released in China this weekend, we have basically zero expectations for it. Moreover, there are heavyweight domestic films coming in that market.
Does the Barbenheimer effect help? Overall, it is expected to expand the market and be good news for cinema in general. It might even give it an extra boost Oppenheimer (which in a way could probably also benefit from being the last film to hold a red carpet internationally – one that got more attention because the stars walked out of the event as the SAG-AFTRA strike was called).
RELATED: ‘Oppenheimer’ Cast Walks Out of London Premiere Before Show Ahead of Official SAG-AFTRA Strike Call
Barbie there has been a strong campaign internationally with positive social feedback, and music and fashion from the film being translated overseas. The talent has appeared in Australia, Korea, Mexico and London (only Berlin is missing due to the strike). The soundtrack, produced by Mark Ronson, and featuring killer tracks including “Dance the Night” from Barbie Her husband, Dua Lipa, is nearing 50 million views on her YouTube page.
Oppenheimer will have an exclusive three-week Imax run; Nolan shot a combination of 65mm and 65mm large format film photography. Also, for the first time there are sections on analog black-and-white Imax photography. Stateside previews begin at 5pm on Thursday for the film, which features an ensemble cast led by Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr and Florence Pugh. Murphy plays atomic bomb architect J. Robert Oppenheimer and Blunt his wife, biologist and botanist Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. Damon is General Leslie Groves Jr., director of the Manhattan Project, and Downey is Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the US Atomic Energy Commission.
The photo is hitting most majors except Korea and Italy this weekend. More importantly, France is where the Nolan film is expected to shine. Australia, Brazil, Germany, Spain and Mexico are added on Thursday, followed by the UK on Friday. We understand that no plans have been finalized for Japan.
The computer is here Dunkirk, which debuted to $49.8 million in the same markets and at today’s rates. Note that 26% of Dunkirk’s opening weekend came from the UK, while Oppenheimer will face Barbie there this session.
Nolan and Oppenheimer The cast premiered the film in Paris last week, followed by the event in London.