Barbie took a record $155 million on its opening weekend in North America thanks to consummate marketing, stellar performances and a script and direction that provided the basis for what Glamour UK calls a feminist masterpiece. ($155 million is not an all-time opening record, but it is for a film directed by a woman, in this case Greta Gerwig.) Oppenheimer meanwhile beat forecasts to earn $80 million in its first three days. Outside the US, the component parts of the great Barbenheimer mismatch made $182 million and $93 million respectively, for a monster $510 million weekend for Hollywood to defy post-Covid torpor and writers’ strike gloom. It’s unclear as yet how many cinema-goers joined the social media-driven herd packing both films into a single day’s dissonant viewing, but the double-dipping must have been substantial given overall box-office takings were almost twice initial forecasts. Oppenheimer’s director, Christopher Nolan, told the weekend FT his A-bomb film was intended as a warning, among other things. Which makes it timely, and not in a good way for Ukraine as fears of nuclear escalation continue to delay the provision of the weapons it needs to defeat Russia.
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