Barbenheimer: ‘Barbie’ Eyes $70M-$80M, Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ Targets $40M


From Warner Bros., sources with access to tracking data suggest that Barbie could have a strong opening, potentially earning between $70 million to $80 million or even more.

However, Warner Bros. is taking a more cautious stance, suggesting a $60 million opening. The movie, which is based on the iconic Mattel toy line, features Margot Robbie in the lead role of Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken.

The Barbie movie had faced delays during its development, transitioning from Sony to Warner Bros. However, in recent weeks, it has gained significant attention on social media and in marketing campaigns, including merchandise tie-ins. Movies with a female-skewing audience can often become box office successes during the summer, as demonstrated by the “Sex and the City” franchise from Warner Bros. and the “Mamma Mia!” franchise from Universal. Barbie seems to be attracting predominantly female viewers, especially those aged 35 and younger.

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Meanwhile, Universal’s “Oppenheimer,” directed by Christopher Nolan, is projected to have a domestic debut in the $40 million range. This R-rated, three-hour drama targets an adult audience, and its longevity in theaters will likely be more important than its opening weekend performance. However, a $40 million opening would still be one of Nolan’s lowest openings, excluding “Tenet,” which opened during the pandemic with $20 million. It would be his lowest start since “The Prestige” in 2006, which debuted with $14.8 million.

In the past, Nolan has experienced a second-place opening with “Interstellar” in 2014, trailing behind Disney’s “Big Hero 6” with $47.5 million. However, “Interstellar” went on to enjoy a long theatrical run, ultimately grossing $701.7 million worldwide. “Oppenheimer” stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the renowned scientist considered the father of the atom bomb. The film also boasts an ensemble cast featuring Emily Blunt and Matt Damon.

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On July 12, Paramount and Skydance will release Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One,” which will continue to be a strong contender alongside “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie.” There is even a possibility that “Oppenheimer” could come in third during its opening weekend, trailing behind the potential successes of “Barbie” and “Mission: Impossible.”

The success of these three major films, along with this weekend’s release of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” will play a crucial role in determining whether summer revenue surpasses that of 2022. Tom Cruise has encouraged his fans to support the theatrical experience by watching “Indiana Jones,” “Barbie,” “Oppenheimer,” and, of course, “Mission: Impossible.”

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