The Cosmic team puts their creative minds together every holiday season to pull off our notorious Christmas card. This year, Cosmic’s holiday card highlights the double-feature phenomenon of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. After #Barbenheimer blew up the box office, Cosmic couldn’t resist getting in on the fun!
The simultaneous theatrical releases of the two films took place on July 21st, 2023. Warner Bros. Pictures’s fantasy comedy follows the iconic doll Barbie making her way into the real world, while Universal Pictures’s Oppenheimer is a biographical thriller centered around physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. Though the films have been described as opposites, they ignited the film phenomenon of the year and proved to have more in common than you’d think.
As memes and fan-made posters began to circulate online, many movie go-ers viewed the films as a double feature, sparking debates on which film to see first. Both films excelled in the box office and received widespread critical acclaim, resulting in their joint opening weekend becoming the fourth largest in American box office history. The back-to-back viewing only heightened internet discourse and industry buzz.
Barbie became the highest-grossing domestic release in Warner Bros history, grossing $22.3 million in Thursday night previews in the US and Canada, while Oppenheimer grossed $10.5 million. This marked the first time two movies released in the same weekend grossed over $10 million in their previews. The films went on to debut to $162 million (Barbie) and $82.4 million (Oppenheimer) on their opening run, both outperforming predictions.
Barbie star Margot Robbie and Oppenheimer Star Cillian Murphy discussed the dueling films in their “Actors on Actors” interview for Variety. The pair also discussed Oppenheimer’s team encouraging Barbie to push their release date but them not budging- resulting in the unique look into the modern movie industry we would’ve have gotten otherwise.
No matter which universe is more your style, you always get the best of both worlds with Cosmic. Happy Holidays from the Cosmic team!