- Barbie’s box office success exceeded expectations, earning $155 million in the United States and $377 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing opening weekend ever for a female director. solo.
- Margot Robbie’s pitch for Barbie to studios was built on successful pairings of big ideas with visionary directors, using Jurassic Park and Steven Spielberg as examples.
- Although still a long way from hitting the billion dollar mark, Barbie’s strong showing and positive reception indicate she has a fighting chance, especially with her box office rivalry with Oppenheimer and Mission. : Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.
Barbie star Margot Robbie explains how comparing her Mattel film adaptation to Jurassic Park helped her get the green light during the pitch process. Directed by Little Women director Greta Gerwig and starring Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, America Ferrera and Will Ferrell, Barbie first entered development in 2009. Robbie became attached to the project when she first was chosen in 2019 and was responsible for the integration of Gerwig.
In an interview with Collider, Robbie explains how, in her role as a producer, she had to pitch Barbie to the studios. She appealed to the financial opportunities a film like Barbie could offer studios and the fact that often times projects just need the right kind of match to succeed. That’s where Jurassic Park came in. Read Robbie’s full comments below:
I think my pitch at the go-ahead meeting was that studios have thrived so much when they’re brave enough to pair a great idea with a visionary director. And then I gave a series of examples like “dinosaurs and (Steven) Spielberg”, this and this, this and this – naming pretty much everything that was amazing and made a ton of money to the studios over the years. And I was like, ‘And now you have Barbie and Greta Gerwig. And I think I told them it would make a billion dollars, which I may have oversold, but we had a movie to make, okay?!
Can Barbie reach the billion dollar mark?
The initial expectation for Barbie was huge, and it has already exceeded expectations with a record opening weekend. The film was expected to gross $110 million domestically over the opening weekend; at the time of writing, Barbie has earned $155 million in the United States and a worldwide total of $377 million. That makes it the highest opening weekend ever for a solo female director and one step closer to the possibility of hitting the magic billion-dollar mark.
At the time, chances are Robbie was joking with his Jurassic Park comparison, or just blowing hot air to see if studios would be interested. Ironically, however, his prediction might be closer to coming true than expected. Barbie still has a long way to go before hitting $1 billion, but the signs are certainly positive, and her early performances have certainly given her a fighting chance. Barbie’s box office rivalry with Oppenheimer and, to a lesser extent, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, apparently worked in its favor, stoking interest and propelling ticket sales.
The Barbie vs. Oppenheimer battle seems to have captured the public imagination and stoked the box office in the process. While it’s impossible to predict how Barbie will fare in the long run, the signs are looking good, and that’s a positive thing for Hollywood, especially against the backdrop of two strikes. If Barbie can hit the $1 billion mark, it could be a game-changer for studios. Its future prospects will become clearer next weekend when it is revealed how much it has dropped since opening.