With sales exceeding half a billion dollars.. Oppenheimer and Barbie films smash the box office

The two films grossed $235 million in North America alone, amid the continued union strike in Hollywood

Oppenheimer and Barbie films smash the box office

The initial weekend release of Oppenheimer and Barbie, both on the same day, provided a ray of hope for the Hollywood community amidst persistent labor disputes. As writer’s and actors’ unions persevere with strikes, this event offered a glimmer of optimism.

Once again, movie enthusiasts flocked to theaters over the weekend, propelling Greta Gerwig and Christopher Nolan’s “Barbie” Oppenheimer to a staggering $235.5 million in ticket sales. This remarkable achievement solidifies its place as one of the most successful box office weekends in history.

Oppenheimer’s “Barbenheimer” and the subsequent discussions on social media likely played a part in its unprecedented viewership this week, with numerous film enthusiasts opting to watch both contrasting films on the same day.

Barbie dominated the North American box office in 2023, raking in a staggering $155 million in ticket sales. This remarkable achievement shattered the first-weekend record for a movie helmed by a female director.

“Oppenheimer” secured the runner-up position with sales totaling approximately $80 million during its inaugural week.

This weekend, history was made as one movie debuted with a staggering $100 million, while another film followed closely behind with an impressive $80 million. Never before have we witnessed such a monumental opening weekend for multiple movies.

According to the National Association of Theater Owners, approximately 200,000 individuals purchased tickets for both films on the same day.

Globally, the movie “Barbie” generated a staggering $182 million across 69 territories, while “Oppenheimer” amassed an impressive $93.7 million from 78 territories.

Following Hollywood’s dual strikes, with the Writers Guild of America entering its third month of strike and the Screen, Television, and Radio Actors Guild of America entering its second week, the opening weekend proved to be a remarkable success. This occurrence marks the first time in over 60 years that both writers and actors have simultaneously gone on strike.

Earlier this month, press tours for Barbie and Oppenheimer faced disruptions due to a strike. Despite over a month of negotiations, the union and the studios failed to reach an agreement on a new three-year contract.

According to union regulations, members on strike are prohibited from making personal appearances or endorsing their work on podcasts or at premieres. As a result, the lead cast of both films refrained from promoting their work in the United States in the days leading up to their debut.

The striking unions not only urged moviegoers to boycott upcoming films like “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” but they also encouraged supporters to raise awareness about the strike on social media.

Labor unions have unveiled a comprehensive plan of peaceful sit-ins scheduled to take place in various cities throughout the United States, notably in iconic urban centers such as New York City and Los Angeles.

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