Jul 30, 2023 - Economy

"Barbie" mania continues into second weekend

Data: Box Office Mojo; Chart: Axios Visuals (Note: Totals not adjusted for inflation.)
Data: Box Office Mojo; Chart: Axios Visuals (Note: Totals not adjusted for inflation.)

"Barbie" earned $93 million in North American theaters this past weekend, marking one of the most successful second-weekend performances for any movie in history.

Why it matters: The continued momentum of "Barbie" is giving theaters a lifeline as they stare down possible movie delays this fall.

State of play: Movie studios are already starting to consider pushing their top films amid the writers and actors strikes shutting down Hollywood.

  • Sony said it will delay the Aug. 11 premiere of its new video game adaption, "Gran Turismo," to Aug. 25, due to strikes. It made a slew of changes to its upcoming movie release schedule, including taking its next major Spider-Man installation off of its spring 2024 calendar.
  • Disney is reportedly considering similar measures.

By the numbers: "Barbie" continued as the top film globally for the second weekend in a row, pulling in over $122 million outside of the U.S., for a worldwide haul of $215 million in its second weekend.

  • "Barbie" has earned nearly $775 million globally, making it one of the highest-grossing films of the year.
  • Ticket sales for "Barbie" dropped just 32% globally in its second weekend compared to its weekend debut, which is much stronger than average.
  • "Barbie" was the top movie in 57 markets over the weekend, with exceptionally strong second-weekend sales in Europe and China, per Comscore.

"Oppenheimer" took the second spot on the global box office charts this past weekend, bringing in $118 million worldwide. Of that, $46 million came from North American ticket sales.

  • The film, which was distributed by Universal Pictures, has surpassed $400 million in gross sales.

The big picture: "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" have played a critical role in bringing much-needed momentum back to movie theaters in the wake of the pandemic. But challenges persist.

  • The number of wide releases, in addition to ticket sales, continues to lag compared to 2018 and 2019, when the domestic box office hit record highs.
  • Major entertainment companies continue to face financial pressure from Wall Street, as the stock market continues to recover from last year's brutal market sell-off.

What to watch: "Barbie," which reportedly cost roughly $150 million to produce, has triggered a push for more toy-inspired movies from Mattel, which manufactures Barbie dolls.

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