“Barbie” has, as of this writing, amassed $1.43 billion worldwide. It managed to overtake “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($1.36 billion) to become the highest-grossing movie of the year. More than that, it now stands as the 14th highest-grossing movie in history, just above “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($1.39 billion) and just below “Frozen II” ($1.45 billion). That is some pretty damn good company to be in. It very nearly matched last year’s “Top Gun: Maverick” ($1.47 billion), which similarly felt like a miracle. But “Maverick” didn’t have to contend directly with a juggernaut like “Oppenheimer,” which has itself earned $939 million globally. The Barbenheimer of it all only adds to the narrative.
Additionally, “Barbie” stands alone as the biggest movie ever directed by a woman, overtaking “Captain Marvel” ($1.13 billion) to do so. Warner Bros. and Mattel took a pretty big risk by giving this movie a $145 million budget, as that is territory generally reserved for superheroes, “Star Wars,” or something of the like. It’s not surprising that a toy this popular got a live-action movie. It remains a little shocking that it was made at this scale, particularly given Gerwig’s unique take on the material. This was a PG-13 movie with a lot to say, and that was not the obvious way to go. But Gerwig and all involved were rewarded for their creativity.
The lingering question is whether or not we are going to get a sequel. One assumes that once the Screen Actors Guild strike is over, it will become a top priority for both Warner Bros. and Mattel. In the meantime, the toy company has plenty else in the hopper as they’re planning an entire cinematic universe worth of adaptations.
“Barbie” is in theaters and on Digital now.