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  • Writer's picturejohn kepler

'Barbie' tops $1b, breaking record for female directors

Barbie ticket sales now rank second this year to The Super Mario Bros, which raked in a total of $1.357bn at the box office.

Barbie has broken the US$1bn mark since its debut more than two weeks ago, with director Greta Gerwig breaking a record for female directors previously held by Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins.

Warner Bros Pictures announced on Sunday that the movie took in $459m from North American theatres and another $572.1m overseas over the weekend, for a total of $1.0315bn (A$1.56bn, £800m). The figure was confirmed by media analytics firm Comscore.

“As distribution chiefs, we’re not often rendered speechless by a film’s performance, but Barbillion has blown even our most optimistic predictions out of the water,” said Jeff Goldstein and Andrew Cripps, who oversee domestic and international distribution for the studio, in a joint statement.

The Margot Robbie-led and produced film has been comfortably seated in first place for three weeks and it’s hardly finished yet. It crossed $400m in the US and $500m internationally faster than any other movie at the studio, including the Harry Potter films.

Directed by Oscar-nominated writer and director Gerwig and starring Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, the movie sends the famous toy doll on an adventure into the real world.

Barbie ticket sales now rank second this year to The Super Mario Bros, which raked in a total of $1.357bn at the box office.

In modern box office history, just 53 movies have made over $1bn, not accounting for inflation, and Barbie is now the biggest to be directed by one woman, supplanting Wonder Woman’s $821.8m global total. Three movies that were co-directed by women are still ahead of Barbie, including Frozen ($1.3bn) and Frozen 2 ($1.45bn), both co-directed by Jennifer Lee, and Captain Marvel ($1.1 bn), co-directed by Anna Boden.

Barbie has passed Captain Marvel domestically with $459.4m (versus $426.8m), thereby claiming the North American record for live-action movies directed by women.

Oppenheimer made an additional $28.7m in North America, bringing its domestic total to $228.6m and has made $552m worldwide. In just three weeks, the J Robert Oppenheimer biopic starring Cillian Murphy has become the highest-grossing R-rated film of the year and the sixth-biggest of the year overall, surpassing Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Oppenheimer is now among the four top-grossing biographies ever (company includes Bohemian Rhapsody, The Passion of the Christ and American Sniper) and is now the biggest second world war film of all time.

Barbie, Oppenheimer and even the surprise, anti-trafficking hit Sound of Freedom (now at $163.5m and ahead of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One) have helped fuel a boom at the box office, bringing in many millions more than was expected and helping to offset pains caused by some summer disappointments including The Flash and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report



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