Ever since its debut on July 21, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” has been rewriting the rules of box office success. Now, the film is on the brink of surpassing “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and clinching the title of the highest grossing domestic film of 2023.
From Toy Shelf to Box Office Royalty
Few could predict that a movie centered around the iconic plastic doll would grip audiences as tightly as “Barbie” has. Within its opening weekend alone, it garnered a whopping $155 million domestically.
Paul Dergarabedian, a seasoned senior media analyst at Comscore, recently confirmed to CNN that the movie's success didn’t stop there. By last week, “Barbie” joined the elite $1 billion global box office club – a hallmark achieved by roughly 50 films when adjusted for inflation.
Dergarabedian, who has spent three decades analyzing film trends, expressed his astonishment: “I’ve been in this game for 30 years and the ‘Barbie’ and ‘Barbenheimer’ phenomenon is as unprecedented as it was unpredictable”.
He credits the film’s ingenious marketing campaign as the initial sign that “Barbie” was bound to be a hit. In fact, the campaign cleverly capitalized on the movie's simultaneous release date with "Oppenheimer", leading to the coining of the term ‘Barbenheimer’ which quickly entered popular lexicon.
According to Dergarabedian, this buzz hinted at "something very special and unique" that would make the film's outcome "much bigger than expected."
Margot Robbie: The Visionary Behind "Barbie"
Actress and producer Margot Robbie, the heart and soul behind the Barbie character in the film, always had a strong hunch about its potential.
In a candid chat with Collider last month, she recalled her bold forecast during a crucial meeting with studio executives. “I think I told them they’d make a billion dollars which, maybe I was overselling, but we had a movie to make!” she exclaimed.
With “Barbie” now poised to take the top spot in the 2023 box office charts, Robbie's prediction doesn’t seem so audacious after all. As the world watches this blockbuster's monumental ascent, one thing becomes clear: never underestimate the power of a classic toy, a compelling story, and a little bit of Hollywood magic.