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It's Official: 'Barbie' Is Now 2023's Highest-Grossing Film and in the Top 15 of All Time

Greta Gerwig's smash-hit has now made more at the box office this year than 'The Super Mario Bros Movie' — and it's still screening.
By Sarah Ward
September 04, 2023
By Sarah Ward
September 04, 2023

If you could only use one word to sum up 2023 at the movies so far, that word would be Barbie. If you had to use a colour instead, it'd be pink. And the filmmaker of the year to-date? None other than Greta Gerwig. Why? Because the rosy-hued, Gerwig-helmed doll-to-screen flick has been everywhere — getting everyone buzzing via its many, many trailers before it arrived; packing in picture palaces once it officially released; breaking box-office records aplenty; and now becoming the highest-grossing title of 2023.

First, a recap. Do you guys ever think about how well the film has been doing at filling cinema seats? Barbie really has been smashing it at bringing in audiences. In Australia, the movie made history almost instantly, notching up the biggest opening at the Australian box office for 2023 so far by raking in $21.5 million including preview screenings over its first weekend. In the process, it earned the biggest opening weekend ever for a film directed by a female filmmaker.

That was in July. Then, in August, Barbie became the first movie by a solo female director to make $1 billion at the global box office. When it achieved that feat, the feature did so in just 17 days from release, earning that massive stack of cash faster than any other movie from Warner Bros (even beating Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2's 19-day run).

So, Barbie now surpassing The Super Mario Bros Movie as the highest-grossing film of 2023 is hardly surprising — but it is still glorious news that calls for a giant blowout party with all the Barbies, planned choreography and a bespoke song, Also, Barbie is the biggest box-office hit worldwide, and also in each of Australia and New Zealand, of this year to-date.

And if you're wondering how its Barbenheimer pal is going, aka Christopher Nolan's vastly dissimilar atomic-bomb thriller Oppenheimer, it sits third worldwide — separated by The Super Mario Bros Movie. In Australia, it's fourth after Avatar: The Way of Water. In NZ, Avatar: The Way of Water is second, the Moana re-release third, then The Super Mario Bros Movie with Oppenheimer at fifth.

Making so much cash — over $1.3 billion and counting since mid-July — has also rocketed Barbie into the top 15 among the highest-grossing movies of all time globally. And, besting Avengers: Age of Ultron at 14th, Frozen II at 13th and Top Gun: Maverick at 12th isn't out of the question, with all three between the $1.4–1.5-billion mark.

If Barbie tops Frozen II, it'll become the highest-grossing film ever by a female filmmaker. It's already the highest-grossing by a solo woman helmer, with the Frozen sequel co-directed with a male filmmaker.

Yes, as the Margot Robbie-starring flick makes plain with its frames, Barbie really 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 definitely is a helluva pioneer in breaking records as well.

Back to 2023's box office, the Robbie- and Ryan Gosling (The Gray Man)-led film sits above not only The Super Mario Bros Movie and Oppenheimer worldwide, but also Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Fast X, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, The Little Mermaid, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One, Elemental and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Check out the Barbie trailer below:

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

Via Variety.

Published on September 04, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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