Even in a year without a “Toy Story,” toys reign supreme.
As of Thursday, “Barbie” took the crown for North America’s highest-grossing movie of 2023 (so far), with $575.4 million in the bank. The movie daintily stole the title from “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which netted $574 million after its April release.
It is also on track to dominate the worldwide box office: Since the film’s release a little over a month ago, it has earned more than $1 billion in global ticket sales. “Super Mario Bros.” topped out at $1.3 billion, making these two films the only ones to cross the $1 billion mark this year.
All of this suddenly makes director Greta Gerwig — who was previously associated with indie dramas like “Lady Bird” and an adaptation of “Little Women” — a mega-blockbuster power player.
Gerwig can now be mentioned in the same breath as studio giants like James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, the Russo brothers and Peter Jackson. But that wasn’t something she was expected.
“I think it was a particular ripple in the universe that allowed it to happen,” Gerwig told the New York Times in July. “I wanted to make something anarchic and wild and funny and cathartic, and the idea that it’s actually being received that way, it’s sort of extraordinary.
The wild success of “Barbie” is a landmark for its studio, too. According to Deadline, this is the first time Warner Bros. has topped the annual domestic box office in 12 years.
The last WB film to score this big was “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II” in 2011.
Of course, the year’s not over yet. The holiday season will bring more big-money movies, like “The Marvels” and “Wonka,” which could knock “Barbie” to the side.
But for now, with Labor Day weekend looming, it looks like “Barbie” is taking her little pink convertible and leaving everyone in the dust.