Friday, April 19, 2024

Boffo Barbenheimer: $230 Mil Haul for Barbie, Oppenheimer Combo, Not Sequels, No Streaming Hollywood Weekend!


It’s a Barbenheimer world this morning!

Hollywood is celebrating as the double release of two blockbusters on the same weekend paid off handsomely.

“Oppenheimer,” an Oscar worthy three hour epic, made $80 million.

“Barbie,” the best marketed movie in eons, raked in $155 million. The worldwide take is $337 million.

Each movie was original, not a sequel, and didn’t involve streaming. If it weren’t for two union strikes at the same time, this weekend would be declared a national holiday.

For “Barbie,” Warner Bros. can say it’s the biggest debut of a movie in 2023. It’s also the biggest one for a female director. “Barbie” can also claim to be the biggest movie based on a toy, like “Transformers.” In fact. the “Barbie” weekend take is the same as the latest “Transformers” made in 7 weeks!

For “Oppenheimer,” the success guarantees Oscar nominations– about a dozen of them. Director Christopher Nolan has his biggest non-“Batman” moment. Robert Downey Jr. overcomes his “Iron Man” legacy — even though it made him very rich — and returns to being a serious actor.

Meantime, “Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning” finished fourth with $19.5 million. This movie suffered from poor timing. Tom Cruise knew that and tried to get release dates moved around. But “MI” should have opened a week earlier instead of challenging this pair of hits. Lesson learned the hard way.

The number 3 movie is “Sound of Freedom,” which is living on a free ticket distribution and must have an asterisk next to its box office report.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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