The month is July is usually hot every year. But this year it’s going to be hotter because of the clash of two big-budget movies at the box office. On the one hand, we have Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie-starrer Barbie, which is the first live-action adaptation of the Barbie story. On the other hand, it’s Christopher Nolan‘s highly ambitious biographical drama, Oppenheimer. Both these films are expected to clash at the box office this year on July 21.
One of the most widely discussed head-to-head collisions at the box office, both Barbie and Oppenheimer have their separate fan bases who will rush to the theatre on its release day. But it seems that Greta Gerwig’s film has the upper hand. Barbie has generated a strong buzz on all the social media platforms in the past few weeks. Add to that the already powerful appeal of Barbie has a generational brand name, especially among female audiences.
Opening Day Projections Of Barbie And Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer, was shot on Imax, and as with many of Nolan’s films, audiences are strongly encouraged to see it on Imax screens – or, at least, the very largest possible. The film’s un-family friendly subject matter, as well as its R-rating in the US, may however limit its final takings. Tracking for Oppenheimer’s opening weekend currently stands as $43m in the US while Barbie’s is more than double, at $93m.
Day One Opening Projection:
Barbie: $93 Million
Oppenheimer: $43 Million
Reviews for Barbie are embargoed until midnight BST on 18 July, with Oppenheimer at 5pm the following day.
Heated Battle Between Oppenheimer And Barbie
Barbie’s sweet spot is under-35 females and secondarily 35- to 49-year-olds. Also, Barbie presales at this point in time are pacing ahead of Little Mermaid. At the Wednesday before its opening Little Mermaid counted $19M in advance ticket sales before grossing a first Friday/previews day of $38.1M. Little Mermaid attracted 68% women and 61% between 18-34, with the largest demo being ages 25-34 at 35%.
Now Christopher Nolan’s three-hour movie about the architect of the atomic bomb, Oppenheimer, isn’t looking at leftovers. As one distribution insider describes its wattage, “It’s as much male and older as Barbie is female and younger.” We’re also hearing that one should not discount the female audience here in attending Oppenheimer, and under/over 25 both are strong too this ensemble pic starring Cillian Murphy in the title role, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Robert Downey Jr. and more.
Nolan’s Earlier Box Office Openings
A $40M-to-possible $50M opening is expected here, with the Universal movie having full control of Imax theaters for three weeks. Nolan’s Dunkirk opened to $50.5M and legged out to $189.7M in 2017. You’ll remember that Nolan’s previous film back in August 2020, Tenet, got shuttered theaters opened in the U.S. during Covid (except for LA, NYC and San Francisco) and posted a $20M 5-day gross over Labor Day weekend, including a pre-release in Canada; that film with its hands tied behind its back.
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