Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has grown into a historic blockbuster since its release four weeks ago—outgrossing The Dark Knight and dragging apathetic moviegoers back into theaters.
- Barbie has officially grossed $537.5 million in the domestic box office, surpassing the domestic box office gross of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight at $536 million—the previous highest-grossing domestic box office release for Warner Bros.
- The movie is also expected to surpass The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s $574 million gross, making it the largest domestic release of 2023.
- It has grossed $1.2 billion globally and is expected to surpass Warner Bros.’s highest global blockbuster of all time, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which grossed $1.34 billion in 2011.
- A new Quorum study found that 37% of 1,800 sampled moviegoers were not regular movie attendees.
Why It’s News
The box office continues its three-year-long slump that has consumed the industry since the outset of COVID-19, with sequel fatigue, lockdown paranoia, and streaming alternatives cutting into the global box office. Only a small handful of films have broken into the billion-dollar club since the end of the lockdowns—including Spider-Man: No Way Home, Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World Dominion, and Avatar: The Way of Water.
Barbie is now the fifth such film—and it has done so thanks in part to a surprising number of moviegoers who specifically sought it out. A new Quorum study found that 11% of Barbie-goers could not remember the last time they sat in a theater, 11% said it was their first film since the pandemic, and 15% said their viewing was a one-off experience and did not expect to come back—meaning 37% of the audience are not regular moviegoers.
The study also found that 46% of respondents regularly attend movies, and 32% inconsistently attend them.
As we previously reported, the simultaneous release of Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer on July 21 created the “Barbenheimer” meme and contributed to the fourth highest-grossing box office weekend in history. Greta Gerwig has now become one of the most successful female filmmakers in history.