Last weekend was one of the biggest moments in pop culture in 2023 so far, perhaps the most hotly anticipated of the entire post-lockdown era. We live in the shadow of Barbenheimer, and you can tell that nobody in Hollywood seemed prepared for what felt blatantly obvious to everyone else. Of course those two movies were going to make bank. Why would you try to make anything compete with it, unless you’re setting it up to fail? Well …
Barbie is, of course, still in the number one slot, having grossed an extra $93 million in its second week of release. Its domestic total after less than a fortnight is already over $351.4 million, making it one of the most successful openings for any film directed by a woman (go, Greta!). To make matters even sweeter, the worldwide gross is already closing in on $775 million, meaning it’s already the third highest-grossing film of 2023 so far. It easily surpassed Fast X and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. It won’t take long to overtake the $844.8 million earned by Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3. Can it beat the $1.355 billion of The Super Mario Bros. Movie? I wouldn’t rule it out. A billion-dollar gross is inevitable.
Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is no slouch either, with $174 million to its name. That means it’s outgrossed Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One domestically. The $400 million international gross means it’s earned back four times its budget and is in profit territory with ease. Not too shabby for a three-hour drama that many people thought would be drowned out in a sea of pink.
Things were less positive for Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Based on the theme park attraction, this questionable Summer release dropped with little hype and debuted at number three with only $24.2 million. This seemed like a slam dunk for a Halloween movie for all the family, but Disney went for late July instead. I imagine they wanted to give it the bare minimum theatrical rollout before getting it on Disney+ in time for spooky season, but given what we know about how the studios are holding back on paying their creatives with streaming releases, it can’t help but feel disappointing. Pay the people who work for you, studios!
The A24 horror film Talk to Me earned $10 million in 2,340 theatres, landing it at number six. In limited release news: anime movie The First Slam Dunk took in $625,561 from 581 theatres; some weird anti-lockdown Christian propaganda movie The Essential Church made $250,000 from 301 locations; Bobi Wine: The People’s President, a documentary about the Ugandan musician and politician, grossed $18,200 from two cinemas; Kokomo City, a documentary depicting the lives of four black trans sex workers, earned $16,650 from one location; and the Nicolas Cage movie (it’s really its own genre) Sympathy for the Devil has $5,400 from 28 theatres.
This coming week sees the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.
You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.