“Barbenheimer” opened the biggest weekend of the year at the North American box office

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Barbie And Oppenheimer It delivered the strongest weekend at the box office this year as fans scrambled to experience the Barpenheimer phenomenon, boosting movie theaters after a lackluster summer season.

BarbieAn estimated $155 million opening in North America was the highest of the year, following a marketing campaign from Mattel and Warner Bros. OppenheimerA three-hour film about the “Father of the Atomic Bomb,” it took in an estimated $80.5 million in North America, well above estimates of $50 million.

Performances were particularly strong for films not based on established Hollywood franchises such as star Wars or The Avengerssaid analysts and film executives.

“These movies don’t fit the summer blockbuster mold,” said Mike Sampson, director of field marketing for the Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain. “It’s great to bring in a different audience rather than the same action-adventure group.”

Directed by Greta Gerwig, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. Barbie It grossed an estimated $182 million outside the United States. OppenheimerDirected by Christopher Nolan and directed by Universal, it has taken in $93.7 million outside the United States, according to Comscore.

Sampson said he believes both films have “legs” and will continue to do well in the coming weeks. “Those are two really good movies, not just two movies that do well. People can’t stop talking about them.”

The strong showings are a boost for cinemas, many of which are still grappling with the effects of the Covid-induced lockdown and production delays. Cinemas enjoyed their first full slate of summer blockbusters since 2019, but ticket sales have fallen back from the levels they reached that year.

“People realized something special was happening and they wanted to be a part of it,” said Michael O’Leary, president and CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners.

But the meme-driven buzz that led to the opening weekend competition among the light-hearted Barbie And Nolan’s film about the dawn of the nuclear age has sparked fan interest beyond expectation. Heading into the weekend, more than 200,000 fans have bought tickets to see both films on the same day in North America, according to the US Film Industry Trade Group.

The weekend could be the second-highest-grossing in box office history once the final numbers are released, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst at research group comScore. He added that it comes at a time when Hollywood actors and writers have gone on strike.

“This is the ultimate weekend at the box office, especially since it comes at a turbulent time in Hollywood with the actors and writers on strike,” he said.

The strike rules prevent stars from promoting their films, even though the studio’s marketing machinery was already in place for those films before the actors moved into picket lines this month. Still, OppenheimerThe cast walked out during the film’s London premiere, and the New York premiere was cancelled.

He said the box office results are almost twice as high as the original projections, thanks to studio marketing and online hype. “They didn’t immediately shout ‘summer blockbusters,'” he said. “It shows audiences want a challenge.”

Cinema owners were pressing Barbie– Objective concessions and other promotions, and some reported selling all of their inventory.

Sampson said the fans were there Barbie slumber parties that helped sell cocktails and themed merchandise.

“the Barbie Lunchbox with Thermos already sold out, and Barbie The sunglasses have already sold out.” “Everything is selling really well.”

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