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Sublime! ‘Barbie’ tops $1bn globally in first for solo woman director


Hollywood’s pink wave has yet to crest as Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” dominated for a third straight weekend in North American theaters, pushing the film’s global haul past $1 billion in a first for a woman director, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said on Sunday.

The Greta Gerwig-directed blockbuster, starring Margot Robbie as iconic doll Barbie and Ryan Gosling as boyfriend Ken, earned a projected $53 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period, for a domestic total of $459 million and a whopping $1.03 billion worldwide.

Not only has “Barbie” thus become the first movie directed solely by a woman to pass the $1 billion mark, but it did so faster than any film — including those directed by men — in Warner Bros.’ 100-year history, executives there said.

The film, which earlier scored the biggest opening weekend of the year, “has captured the imagination of moviegoers around the world and the results are incredibly impressive,” analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore said.

Universal’s “Oppenheimer,” the dark historical drama that has placed second to “Barbie” in their debut weeks, was bumped by Warner Bros. Newcomer “Meg 2: The Trench,” an action film featuring gargantuan prehistoric sharks.

“Meg 2” pulled in $30 million for the weekend, while Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” earned $28.7 million to push its global total to $552 million.

That total made the story about the creation of the atomic bomb the all-time top grossing World War II film, ahead of Nolan’s own “Dunkirk” ($527 million) and Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” ($482 million), not adjusted for inflation, according to Hollywood Reporter.

Fourth place for the weekend went to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” the latest in the franchise about a team of reptilian heroes in a half shell. The Paramount animated comedy, featuring the voices of Jackie Chan and Post Malone, brought in $28 million.

Disney release “Haunted Mansion” slid two spots to fifth, with the lavishly produced kid-centric film — starring LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish and Owen Wilson — earning $8.9 million.

Holding its own in sixth was the independent “Sound of Freedom,” from Santa Fe Films and Angel Studios, at $7 million. The low-budget action thriller has sparked controversy, with critics saying its story about child sex trafficking plays into Qanon conspiracy theories.

All in all, it was an exceptional weekend for Hollywood, with the top four films all raking in $28 million or more.

Not only did the top films come close to doubling the total from the same weekend last year, they surpassed the corresponding pre-pandemic weekend in 2019, analysts said.

Ken might even have said — a line Ryan Gosling reportedly ad-libbed during the filming of “Barbie” — that the weekend was “Sublime!”

Rounding out the top 10 were: “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part 1” ($6.4 million); “Talk to Me” ($6.2 million); “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” ($1.5 million); “Elemental” ($1.2 million) — AFP

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