Greta Gerwig makes history at the box office with ‘Barbie’

Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

We girls can do anything, right, Barbie?

The director of the new “Barbie” movie, Greta Gerwig, just made history with her candy-coated ode to the legendary doll. She now holds the record for the biggest opening weekend ever by a female director, with “Barbie” zooming past the competition like a bolt of pink lightning.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Barbie” raked in a whopping $162 million in North America over the July 21-23 weekend. It’s the top debut of the year so far, besting “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”

Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP

“We have a pink unicorn here,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution, to Variety. “We thought it would be $75 million for the opening weekend. Nobody saw $155 million coming. This doll has long legs.”

MORE: ‘Barbie’ is hitting the big screen, but is the movie meant for kids?

And if you were following the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon — the highly anticipated matchup between “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” with both opening on the same weekend — the doll movie blew the bomb movie out of the water.

Still, “Oppenheimer,” a three-hour historical film about the physicist who spearheaded the development of the atomic bomb, surpassed predictions with a big opening take of $82.4 million.

Barbenheimer’s one-two punch helped push the box office to its fourth-highest gross ever. And it’s the biggest weekend box office, period, since the pandemic began in 2020.

The two movies could scarcely be more different, but now their tandem debut is getting credit for “saving the summer” (at least in terms of box office receipts).


Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, the “Barbie” blockbuster joins other female-forward hits like “Wonder Woman,” directed by Patty Jenkins, and “Captain Marvel,” directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Both of those recently held the opening weekend record for a female director, too — at least until “Barbie” came along.

In case you were wondering: Yes, Mattel makes a “Film Director” Barbie playset. Unsurprisingly, she’s sold out.

MORE: ‘Barbie’s’ Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach wed after 10 years together

Entertainment, Movies

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About the Author
Kathleen St. John
Kathleen St. John is a freelance journalist. She lives in Denver with her husband, two kids and a fiercely protective Chihuahua. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kathleen's work.

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