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Barbie, one of this year's most anticipated releases, has more than lived up to its lofty expectations. The fantasy comedy has broken numerous records for Warner Bros. and Director Greta Gerwig since its July 21, 2023, premiere. And there is no end in sight!
The movie's opening weekend domestic ticket sales of $155 million secured its position as the highest-grossing debut of 2023. The record was previously held by The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which earned $146.3 million during its first weekend.
Just 17 days after its release, Barbie reached a staggering $1 billion in global ticket sales. This is a new record for a Warner Bros. movie. The previous record-holder, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, achieved the feat after 19 days. As of August 20, 2023, Barbie has earned $1.2 billion, making it the second highest-grossing movie of 2023. It is outranked so far only by The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which has earned over $1.35 billion worldwide.
Gerwig breaks barriers for other female directors
Gerwig, who directed and co-wrote Barbie, is no stranger to accolades. Lady Bird, her first movie as a solo director, earned five Oscar nominations, including one for Best Director in 2018. Gerwig's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women earned her another Oscar nod in 2020, this time for screenwriting.
However, Barbie's success has escalated her achievements to a new level. Gerwig is the first solo female director with a billion-dollar film. The previous billion-dollar blockbusters involving female leaders all had male co-directors. Frozen and Frozen II were a collaboration between Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck. Captain Marvel was the joint effort of Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden.
The brilliant director's mega-success could also help open doors for women in Hollywood. In 2022, only 11 percent of the top 100 films had female directors. Barbie's popularity could make movie studios finally realize that diverse talent is a win-win for both — publicity and profits!
Resources: Smithsonian.com, thedirect.com, collider.com, Yahoonews.com