Greta Gerwig Makes Box Office History As ‘Barbie’ Wins Biggest Opening Weekend Ever For A Female Director

Bravo to the director Barbie.

Greta Gerwig cemented box office history as her cotton candy-colored blockbuster “Barbie” grossed $155 million in its opening weekend, marking the biggest debut ever for a film directed by a woman.

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“Captain Marvel,” which was co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, previously held the title after earning $153 million in 2019. Filmmaker Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman,” held the record for an all-female directed film with its $103 million debut in 2017.

“Barbie” notched several other box office records, including the biggest opening weekend of the year – beating “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($146 million).

And thanks to the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon — hundreds of thousands of moviegoers opted to watch feature doubles of “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s historical drama “Oppenheimer,” which opened to a remarkable $80.5 million — it was not only the biggest box office weekend since the pandemic, but it was also the fourth-biggest collective weekend ever.

It’s worth noting that the top three weekends in history were led by sequel debuts in massive franchises: “Avengers: Endgame” ($402 million collectively as of April 2019), “Avengers: Infinity War” ($314 million collectively as of April 2018), and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($313 million collectively as of December 2015).

“’Barbie’ has exploded into a movie with the times,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. “It’s genuine excitement, not manufactured excitement. Moviegoers are making it their own.

The film was embraced by critics (it holds 90% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (it nabbed an “A” CinemaScore). The initial crowds were 65% female, which is notable since males typically make up a similar majority of audiences when a film makes over $100 million in its debut.

“Barbie” cost $145 million, not including a marketing campaign that propelled the film into the mainstream long before it landed in theaters. Gerwig, the Oscar-nominated director of “Lady Bird” and “Little Women,” co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Noah Baumbach.

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling play stereotypical versions of Barbie and Ken, who leave the world of Barbieland on a quest for real-world self-discovery. The cast also includes Issa Rae, Dua Lipa, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, Helen Mirren, John Cena and Will Ferrell.

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