From feet arches to being ‘Ken’ough, it’s safe to say that Greta Gerwig’s Barbie blockbuster has created a cultural zeitgeist in a way that very few films have been able to achieve in recent years. And that is evidenced by the movie’s unprecedented blockbuster performance as the plastic-pink flick crosses the historic billion-dollar box office mark.
The monumental feat was announced by Warner Bros. Pictures, who went on to back the film after initial talks between toy company Mattel and Sony Pictures Studios stalled in 2018. Consequently, this would make Greta Gerwig the very-first female director in the history of filmmaking to have a billion-dollar film under her belt officially, as well as the fastest Warner Bros. picture to hit the mark in the company’s storied 100-year past.
Barbie was co-written between Greta and her partner, Noah Baumbach.
Barbie’s Greta Gerwig is the first female director with a billion-dollar film
Her achievement has never come at a more opportune time either when one takes into account the strong feminist narrative and critique on gender dynamics that pervade the entirety of the film, marking a truly appropriate proverbial cherry on top of an already sufficiently well-received cinematic cake.
A statement released by Warner Bros. Pictures yesterday (6 August) on the matter explains that the box office earnings were combined between the $459 million (HKD 3 billion approx.) generated through ticket sales from theaters in the United States and $572.1 million (HKD 4 billion approx.) from other theaters across the globe.
This brings its combined box-office value to a jaw-dropping $1.0315 billion (HKD 8 billion approx.). It is worth noting that only 28 other movies have managed to bag the same ticket figures, all of which have been directed by men.
In both North America and Canada, Barbie continues to retain its position as the No.1 movie in the regions for a third consecutive weekend, single-handedly disproving the longstanding belief that ‘girl movies’ — films written and headlined by women for a female audience, would always fail to match the same level of commercial success as films written and led by men.
But of course, Greta has built a considerable career for herself even prior to Barbie, having directed both Lady Bird and Little Women to much critical acclaim, while also nabbing three Academy Awards nominations.
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Now, it looks as though Mattel may even build upon the mammoth success of the Barbie movie with a series of other feature films based upon their portfolio of intellectual properties, including a Polly Pocket film starring Lily Collins for the titular role.
Feature and hero image credits: Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig attend the World Premiere of “Barbie” at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on July 09, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage), Greta Gerwig attends the World Premiere of “Barbie” at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on July 09, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur