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Barbie's Greta Gerwig Made History For Women Directors, It's Fantastic

Barbie's Greta Gerwig Made History For Women Directors, It's Fantastic

Barbie's Greta Gerwig Made History For Women Directors, It's Fantastic
Hanna Lassen/Getty Images

Greta Gerwig's Barbie is the highest opening weekend box office of all time for a woman director.

Greta Gerwig's Barbie is the highest opening weekend box office of all time for a woman director.

Greta Gerwig's Barbie isn't just the highest opening weekend box office of 2023 — it's also the highest opening weekend box office of all time for a woman director.

Earning $162 million in North American ticket sales, Barbie has beat out the previous record-holder, Captain Marvel, which was co-directed by Anna Boden and opened to $153.4 million in 2019. Barbie also beat Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins and earned $103.3 million during its first weekend in 2017.

As the other half of "Barbenheimer," Oppenheimer also did well in its own right this weekend, earning $82.4 million as a three-hour historical drama. It was still overshadowed by Barbie's success, which beat out the film that previously had the highest opening weekend of 2023, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which earned $146 million.

Barbie’s success has been hailed as significant because its opening weekend audience was approximately 65 percent women. Movies that open over $100 million typically have a majority male audience, including both Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman.

The film as captured audiences this summer, as David A. Gross, head of movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, told Variety: “Barbie has exploded into a zeitgeist film. This is genuine excitement, not the manufactured kind. Moviegoers are making it their own.”

Barbie stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as the famous Mattel dolls, Barbie and Ken, who leave the pretend world of "Barbieland" on a self-discovery quest in the real world. The cast includes Issa Rae, Dua Lipa, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, Helen Mirren, John Cena, and Will Ferrell.

What remains to be seen is if Barbie can became the highest-grossing film of all time directed by a woman. In North America, Frozen II, co-directed by Jennifer Lee, currently holds the record with $477.4 million. Captain Marvel sits in second place with $426.8 million.

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Ryan Adamczeski