The battle between ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ rages on with both movies going housefull instantly and garnering highly positive reception in early screenings.
Touted as July’s biggest films, and some of the biggest films of 2023, both films are on somewhat of a draw as of now, because while ‘Oppenheimer’ has undoubtedly gotten the better reception, ‘Barbie’ will no doubt win the box office race.
Standing as polar opposites, one is a grim, dark, serious and epic biopic dealing with a very monumental part of history while another is a colourful, comical but still poignant film with a greater family audience appeal.
Both ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ are getting overwhelmingly positive reviews.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie starring Margot Robbie as the doll icon has a very fashionable 89 per cent positive score, while Christopher Nolan’s historical drama ‘Oppenheimer’ starring Cillian Murphy is at an all time explosive 94 per cent positive score and still increasing. Still, there is more than a scope for change as the race has just started, though in the review race ‘Oppenheimer’ has a clear lead.
However, the same can’t be said for the box office as ‘Barbie’ is estimated to bring in $90 to $110 million across its opening weekend, while ‘Oppenheimer’, partly hindered by its three-hour running time and its dark subject matter and serious tone is expected to tally about $40 to $49 million as reported by ‘The Hollywood Reporter’. Nonetheless, Nolan’s dark historical epic will benefit from premium IMAX format, which is one of the movie’s biggest highlights and will no doubt change the early box office projections.
The two highly different films with twin release dates are fueling the phenomenon known popularly on social media as ‘Barbenheimer’.
Plus, if that isn’t enough to make things exciting for the month of July, Tom Cruise’s action-spy-thriller ‘Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One’ which released just a week before these two giants has also set fire to the box office, garnering a total of up to $234 million globally. Apart from that, the action film ‘Sound of Freedom’ also became an unexpected big hit, as it has also generated a great sum of $100 million and received highly positive reviews.
According to Variety, Paul Dergarabedian, a senior Comscore analyst, calls ‘Barbenheimer’ a “movie marketer’s dream come true.” He adds that the craze is “creating a rising tide of interest that should also boost the fortunes of ‘MI7’ and ‘Sound of Freedom’ as moviegoers flood the multiplex in search of movies to catch on the big screen.”