‘Barbie’ Crosses $1B Globally, ‘Meg 2’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Add to Moviegoing Boom

Turtles and a humongous shark helped fuel another great weekend for moviegoing as the Barbenheimer parade continued.

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie grossed another $53 million at the domestic box office as it hit $459.4 million in North America and crossed $1 billion globally in a huge win for the filmmakers, Warner Bros. and Mattel. The global number includes an impressive $572.1 million from the foreign box office for a worldwide cume through Sunday of $1.03 billion. It is the second film of the year to cross $1 billion after Universal and Illumination’s family pic The Super Mario Bros ($1.35 billion).

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The Barbenheimer parade resulted in another huge moviegoing weekend even as the dual strikes threaten the gains theatrical is making. Combined domestic revenue for all films came in at around $180 million, up a staggering 90 percent from the same frame last year and even 19 percent up over 2019.

Gerwig’s Barbie is the first live-action film in history that’s directed by a woman solo to join the global billion-dollar club. It is already the biggest live-action film of all time domestically for a female director, solo or otherwise, after passing up the $413 million earned by in North America by Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and the $426 million earned by Captain Marvel, which was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Not often are veteran studio executives rendered speechless, but that’s how movie distribution chiefs Jeff Goldstein and Andrew Cripps described themselves on Sunday. “’Barbillion’ has blown even our most optimistic predictions out of the water,” they said in a statement. Added Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group co-CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy in the statement, “with Barbie becoming the biggest film at the summer box office, Greta now joins an elite group of writer/directors whose singular vision has generated $1 billion at the global box office, a milestone that is a testament to her brilliance and to her commitment to deliver a movie that Barbie fans of every age want to see on the big screen.” (Barbie was mostly done by the time previous movie chief Toby Emmerich and top production executive Courtenay Valenti exited, but Abdy is said to have played a key role regarding certain last-minute production decisions.) And DeLuca and Abdy oversee distribution and marketing.

Among all films, Barbie is the 53rd movie in history to cross $1 billion worldwide, and among only a few Warners titles to do so.

Barbie had no trouble staying No. 1 over the Aug. 4-6 weekend, while fellow Warners release Meg 2: The Trench opened in second place domestically with an estimated $30 million, compared to $45 million for 2018 summer success The Meg, which launched amid a far-less-crowded marketplace. The sequel earned a B- CinemaScore, not uncommon for a pic laced with horror.

Overseas, Meg 2 swam off with an impressive $112 million from its first 76 markets — including $26 million in China, a big sum considering the current climate — for a global start of $142 million against a reported budget of $129 million before marketing.

Universal’s Oppenheimer, like Barbie, remained a force of nature in its third outing as it raced past $500 million worldwide. In North America, it earned $28.7 million for a domestic tally of $228.6 million. Overseas, it earned another $52.8 million for an offshore haul of $552.9 million.

The Christopher Nolan-directed pic about the making of the atomic bomb finished Sunday with an estimated global tally of $552.9 million, the top gross ever for a World War II pic ahead of Nolan’s Dunkirk ($527 million) and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan ($482 million), not adjusted for inflation. And the three-hour film is already the fifth-best showing ever for Nolan domestically, and one of the top biographical dramas of all time, not adjusted. It is also his biggest non-superhero pic in a slew of markets.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, similar to The Meg 2, likewise came in ahead of expectations with a five-day debut of $43.1 million, including $28 million for the three-day weekend. The movie’s performance further cements Paramount’s standout success in the PG space, and depending on where it tops out, should successfully reboot the TMNT big-screen franchise.

The PG-rated pic, written by Seth Rogen and appealing heavily to boys, is one of the best-reviewed studio films of the year and earned a stellar A CinemaScore from audiences. Mutant Mayhem opened mid-week in order to get a jump on the competition. Overseas, it earned $8.2 million from its first raft of markets for an early global tally of $51.3 million, and has little competition in sight.

Mutant Mayhem and Meg 2 are the first movies to feel the full weight of not having stars or influencers able to promote the film in the final three weeks leading up to their release. And the WGA strike presented an additional challenge because of Rogen.

Elsewhere, Disney’s live-action Haunted Mansion continued to scare off audiences. It plunged 63 percent in its sophomore outing to $9 million for a domestic tally of $42 million and $59.6 million globally.

Angel Studios’ sleeper hit Sound of Freedom fell to No. 6 domestically, grossing an estimated $7.6 million in its fifth weekend for a whopping total of $164 million (it has yet to open overseas). It’s still doing more business in North America than Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One, which ended its fourth weekend with $151 million in domestic ticket sales and has lost hope of rebounding.

Sony’s Screen Gems, Stage 6 Films and Blumhouse celebrated Insidious: The Red Door crossing $182 million at the global box office, including $101.8 million offshore, and becoming the top-grossing Hollywood horror pic of the year to date (M3gan was the previous best at $180 million).

Aug. 6, 7:42 a.m.: Updated with revised weekend estimates.

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