'Barbenheimer' opens to 4th-biggest box office weekend in history
"Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" dominated the weekend box office.
The movie event of the summer, dubbed "Barbenheimer," officially kicked off and moviegoers flocked to theaters to watch at least one of the films -- with thousands pulling a double feature.
During its opening weekend, "Barbie" took in $155 million domestically, according to The Numbers, a film industry data website that tracks box office revenue. "Oppenheimer" took in $80.5 million domestically.
Both films were expected to continue to have great opening numbers, but their combined $235.5 million domestic total made for the biggest opening weekend since before the pandemic.
Not only that, but it is the fourth-biggest box office weekend in history, and the success of "Barbie" in particular is notable as Greta Gerwig now holds the record for having the biggest opening for a film directed by a woman.
Heading into opening weekend, there were more than 200,000 tickets sold for same-day screenings of "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer," a representative for the National Association of Theatre Owners told "Good Morning America."
“This was a phenomenal experience for people who love movies on the big screen,” Michael O’Leary, the President & CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, said. “It was a truly historic weekend and continues the positive box office momentum of 2023. More importantly, it proves once again that America loves going to the movies to see great films. People recognized that something special was happening and they wanted to be a part of it."
"This weekend is a shining example of how there is simply no substitute for seeing a motion picture in the cinema," O'Leary added.
On Friday, AMC CEO Adam Arons shared an update that more than 60,000 AMC Stubs Members had purchased same-day double feature tickets from the entertainment company.
"Barbenheimer" went viral for the two starkly different movie experiences sharing the same release date.
While Gerwig's "Barbie" taps into the world of the iconic Barbie doll that many know and love, "Oppenheimer," which is directed by Christopher Nolan, tells the darker, more intense story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.
In the weeks leading up to the release of the films, prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike that began on July 13, actors and filmmakers from both movies encouraged their followers to go see both movies on July 21.
Earlier this month, Gerwig and "Barbie" star Margot Robbie posed for a photo in front of an "Oppenheimer" film poster.
Actor Cillian Murphy, who plays the titular role in "Oppenheimer," also told IGN in an interview earlier this month that he "can't wait to see" the "Barbie" film.
"I'll be going to see 'Barbie,'" he said. "I think it's just great for the industry and for audiences that we have two amazing films by amazing filmmakers coming out the same day. Could spend a whole day in the cinema, what's better than that?"
The full run time for both films, back-to-back, is around five hours -- not including trailers.