Barbie Breaks the Billion-Dollar Barrier with Greta Gerwig’s Film

The live-action film adaptation of the iconic doll Barbie has achieved a remarkable feat at the global box office, surpassing $1 billion in ticket sales in just over two weeks. The film, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, has received critical acclaim and audience praise for its witty and whimsical exploration of feminism, identity, and self-image.


A Record-Breaking Success for Female Directors

Barbie is the first film solely directed by a woman to cross the $1 billion mark in worldwide box office sales, according to media analytics firm Comscore. The film has also set a record for Gerwig, who is known for her Oscar-nominated films Ladybird and Little Women. Gerwig is now the highest-grossing female solo director of all time, surpassing Patty Jenkins, who directed Wonder Woman ($821.8 million).

Other female directors have reached the billion-dollar milestone, but only as co-directors. These include Jennifer Lee, who co-directed Frozen ($1.3 billion) and Frozen 2 ($1.45 billion), and Anna Boden, who co-directed Captain Marvel ($1.1 billion). Barbie has also claimed the North American record for live-action films directed by women, with $459.4 million in domestic sales, beating Captain Marvel ($426.8 million).

A Toy Story with a Twist

Barbie follows the story of the famous toy doll (Robbie) and her boyfriend Ken (Gosling) as they leave their perfect but boring life in “Barbie Land” for an adventure in the real world. Along the way, they encounter various challenges and surprises that test their relationship and their sense of self. The film also playfully addresses the controversy surrounding the doll’s impact on women’s self-image and the patriarchy.

The film has been praised for its clever and creative script, co-written by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, as well as its charming and charismatic performances by Robbie and Gosling. The film also features a diverse and talented supporting cast, including Awkwafina, Tiffany Haddish, Daniel Kaluuya, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, and Meryl Streep.

A Box Office Smash Amidst the Pandemic

Barbie’s impressive box office performance is even more remarkable considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely affected the movie industry. Many films have been delayed or released on streaming platforms due to lockdowns and social distancing measures. However, Barbie has managed to attract millions of viewers to theaters across the world, proving that there is still a strong demand for cinematic experiences.

Barbie’s main competitor at the box office has been Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s biopic of the atomic bomb scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, starring Cillian Murphy. The film has also been a hit with critics and audiences alike, earning $552.9 million globally and becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of the year. However, Barbie has outperformed Oppenheimer by a wide margin, especially in international markets.

Barbie is now the second-highest-grossing film of 2023, behind The Super Mario Bros ($1.357 billion), which was released earlier this year. It is also among the 53 films in modern box office history that have made over $1 billion, not accounting for inflation. The film’s distributors, Warner Bros. Pictures, said that Barbie has exceeded their “most optimistic predictions” and thanked Gerwig, Robbie, Gosling, and the entire cast and crew for their “incredible vision and execution”.

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