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‘Barbenheimer’ box office sales keep rolling in second weekend

WARNER BROS.’ Barbie showed no signs of slowing down in its second weekend at the box office, and was set to haul in $93 million in ticket sales Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from media analytics firm Comscore.

Director Greta Gerwig’s take on Barbie — the year’s No. 1 movie, and the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film directed by a woman — has made more than $351 million in the US and Canada since opening on July 21, and nearly $775 million globally, Comscore reported.

The film, which stars Margot Robbie in the titular role, and Ryan Gosling as Barbie’s iconic beau, Ken, sends Mattel, Inc.’s iconic doll on an adventure into the real world. The toy maker last week posted a surprise second-quarter profit in the wake of the movie’s release, with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ynon Kreiz telling analysts the company would expand its Barbie-related toys and products in the second half of 2023.

On Barbie’s heels this weekend was Oppenheimer, director Christopher Nolan’s historical tale of the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and the making of the atomic bomb, which made an estimated $46.2 million Friday through Sunday in what Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian called a “phenomenal second weekend.”

The two films together have been dubbed “Barbenheimer,” a nod to the relative rarity of two blockbusters opening the same weekend. Their combined sales are “absolutely mind blowing,” Dergarabedian said, with second-weekend numbers that “would have been hailed as opening weekend wins.”

Universal’s Oppenheimer has made $174 million in the US and Canada so far, and $400 million worldwide.

The films have seized American moviegoers’ attention at an uncertain time for Hollywood. The Writers’ Guild of America, a labor union representing writers, has been on strike over pay since May, while SAG-AFTRA — the union for artists and actors, including A-list stars like Robbie — went on strike earlier this month. — Reuters

Joseph Emmanuel Garcia

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