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‘Barbie’ breaks box office records, surpassing $1 billion in three weeks

For the third week in a row, Greta Gerwig’s film is the highest grossing movie in the United States

Barbie
'Barbie' star Margot Robbie at the film's European premiere in London on July 12.MAJA SMIEJKOWSKA (REUTERS)

Warner Bros. Pictures announced Sunday that its hit movie Barbie has made more than $1 billion in global ticket sales in just three weeks in theaters. This makes the film’s director, Greta Gerwig, the first female filmmaker in history to surpass the billion-dollar benchmark as a solo director. Only around 30 filmmakers have a directing credit on a billion-dollar film.

Since it hit theaters on July 21, the comedy about the famous Mattel doll has made $459 million in the United States and Canada box office, and another $572.1 million worldwide. In total, it has made $1.0315 billion at the global box office, almost 10 times its budget. According to Comscore, the film drew $127 million worldwide this weekend, with $53 million in domestic tickets, where it was the top-grossing movie for the third week in a row, and another $74 million overseas.

“As distribution chiefs, we’re not often rendered speechless by a film’s performance, but Barbillion [a play on words between Barbie and billion] has blown even our most optimistic predictions out of the water,” Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures, and Andrew Cripps, president of international distribution, said in a statement.

No film from the firm has managed to make so much at the box office so quickly, said Goldstein. The film — which is directed by Gerwig, who co-wrote the script with her partner, Noah Baumbach — broke the billion-dollar-mark in just 17 days. Until now, the fastest feature film to reach this mark was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which surpassed $1 billion in 19 days.

The film, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, turned into a worldwide phenomenon long before its release, with a months-long marketing campaign reeling in fans, who gravitated towards its feminist message, next-generation humor, bright aesthetics and famous stars. The movie was also buoyed by the Barbenheimer movement, which encouraged the public to see the upbeat Barbie movie and Christopher Nolan’s gloomy biopic Oppenheimer about the creator of the nuclear bomb on the same day.

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