'Barbie' Just Became the First Film by a Solo Female Director to Make $1 Billion at the Global Box Office

Life in plastic keeps proving fantastic for Greta Gerwig's hit comedy — with audiences worldwide and box-office records.
Sarah Ward
Published on August 07, 2023

When Greta Gerwig's Margot Robbie-starring Barbie takes audiences on an opening tour of Barbie Land, it makes one thing supremely clear: Barbie can be anything. The famous doll can be President, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, a diplomat and a Supreme Court justice. It can be a mermaid, doctor, lawyer and Pulitzer-winner, too. Off-screen, Barbie the movie can be one helluva pink-hued pioneer in smashing records as well — including by reaching $1 billion at the box office globally.

It took just 17 days from release for Barbie to notch up that figure, Variety reports. In the process, it earned that massive stack of cash faster than any other movie from Warner Bros, beating Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2's 19-day feat.

Raking in all those takings from all those cinemagoers basking in Barbie's joys is all well and ace, but making Lady Bird and Little Women filmmaker Gerwig the first solo female director to hit the billion-dollar mark is a stunning achievement — the kind that really deserves a giant blowout party with all the Barbies, planned choreography and a bespoke song.

Caroline McCredie

Barbie is only the second film this year to crack a billion at the worldwide box office, after The Super Mario Bros Movie. Since the pandemic hit, only Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water, Jurassic World Dominion and Spider-Man: No Way Home have also brought in that much money.

Wondering where Barbie's Barbenheimer buddy sits? Christopher Nolan's vastly dissimilar atomic-bomb thriller Oppenheimer has hit half a billion at the time of writing.

The Robbie- and Ryan Gosling (The Gray Man)-led film has beaten Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Fast X, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, The Little Mermaid, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts' respective 2023 takings too — all of which sit alongside it, Mario and Oppenheimer in the global top ten right now.

On the list of highest-grossing films of all time, only Frozen, Frozen II and Captain Marvel place higher with a female director at the helm — but all three were co-helmed with male filmmakers.

Back when Barbie reach the half-billion mark on July 28, Warner Bros Pictures President of Domestic Distribution Jeff Goldstein and President of International Distribution Andrew Cripps said that "the extraordinary Greta Gerwig and her marvellous cast and crew have delivered an event for every kind of moviegoer everywhere in the world and, as critical praise continues to mount, what is quickly proving to be one of the best-reviewed movies of the year."

"We couldn't be more thrilled or proud of these phenomenal results, and congratulate the filmmakers, cast and our colleagues at Mattel on this spectacular run, which — like Barbie herself — continues to defy all expectations."

In Australia, Barbie made history almost instantly. The film notched up the biggest opening at the Australian box office for 2023 so far, raking in $21.5 million including preview screenings, over its first weekend — and earned the biggest opening weekend ever for a film directed by a female filmmaker.

Alongside Oppenheimer, it also saw the Aussie box office score its biggest-ever Saturday and Sunday takings. And, it's likely to soon surpass The Super Mario Bros Movie as the highest-grossing film of 2023 in Australia so far.

Yes, Barbie definitely can do anything. Check out the trailer below:

Barbie is showing in Australian and New Zealand cinemas now. Read our review.

Via Variety.

Published on August 07, 2023 by Sarah Ward
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x