There’s been much debate and consternation on the internet over whether you should see Barbie or Oppenheimer first on July 21, but the most recent box office projections have made it abundantly clear that there’s only going to be one winner.
Of course, you can claim that Christopher Nolan’s latest being R-rated puts it at a serious disadvantage, but let’s not pretend that adult-skewing event pictures can’t enjoy massive opening weekends. There are no doubt a lot of people planning a double feature – a sentiment wholeheartedly endorsed by none other than Tom Cruise – but the spoils will be going to Greta Gerwig’s latest.
Barbie is currently on track for a first weekend somewhere in the $70-80 million range, although there’s every reason to believe it could end up much higher seeing as the hype train still has three weeks left to gather momentum. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer is eying a start of around $40 million, transforming the “battle of the century” into a distinctly one-sided massacre.
The star-studded live-action comedy based on the iconic Mattel toy also cost less than Oppenheimer to produce, and will no doubt prove to be the most profitable of the two. He might be one of the finest filmmakers of the modern era, but from next month onward, Nolan shall henceforth be known as the man who dared to take on Barbie and lost.
Obviously, cinemagoers will be the real winners at the end of the day if both live up to expectations, but it’s a shame the rivalry isn’t going to be anywhere near as heated as initially thought.