Aug 6, 2023 - Economy

"Barbie" makes history as film surpasses $1B in box office sales

Greta Gerwig (L) and Margot Robbie attend the "Barbie" Celebration Party at Museum of Contemporary Art on June 30, 2023 in Sydney, Australia.

Greta Gerwig (left) and Margot Robbie attend a "Barbie" celebration in Sydney, Australia, in June. Photo: James Gourley/Getty Images

"Barbie" has earned more than $1 billion in worldwide box office sales, according to Comscore.

Why it matters: This represents an extraordinary milestone for the Greta Gerwig-directed Warner Bros. film just 17 days after its release.

  • It's the first film solely directed by a woman to ever cross $1 billion in global box office sales.

Details: "Barbie," which debuted July 21, has brought in a total of $459 million in North American ticket sales, and another $572 million from theaters overseas.

  • The film continued to attract movie-goers even in its third weekend in theaters, generating¬†$53 million domestically and $74 million overseas.
  • No movie in Warner Bros.' 100-year history has sold so many tickets so fast, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein told the New York Times.

For the record: The previous highest-grossing film by a woman director was held by Chinese director Jia Ling. Her 2021 hit "Hi, Mom" grossed $834 million worldwide.

Be smart: Before "Barbie," only a handful of sole female directors in the U.S. have come close to the $1 billion milestone.

  • Most notably, Warner Bros.' 2017 hit "Wonder Woman," directed by Patty Jenkins, earned an impressive $821 million globally in sales. Like "Barbie," that film also centered around a lead female actor, Gal Gadot.

The bottom line: "Barbie's" success shows that a strong female lead can attract real attention at the box office.

Go deeper: Barbie's sociocultural meaning in 2023

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