‘Barbie’ Crosses $1 Billion at Global Box Office

Greta Gerwig is now the first solo female director to hit this milestone

Barbie Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie in "Barbie" (Credit: Warner Bros.)

You’ve heard of Stereotypical Barbie…how about Billionaire Barbie?

On Sunday, Warner Bros. announced that Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” has passed $1 billion at the global box office, becoming the eighth film in studio history to cross that mark.

“Barbie” is certainly the most colorful member of Warner’s billion-dollar club, joining “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “The Dark Knight,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Aquaman” and “Joker” on the $1 billion list.

This also makes Greta Gerwig the first solo female director to cross the $1 billion mark.

“As distribution chiefs, we’re not often rendered speechless by a film’s performance, but Barbillion has blown even our most optimistic predictions out of the water,” said Warner Bros. distribution chiefs Jeff Goldstein and Andrew Cripps in a statement. “This is a watershed moment for ‘Barbie,’ and no one but
Greta Gerwig could have brought this cross-generational icon and her world to life in such a funny, emotional and entertaining story, one that is resonating with all four quadrants of moviegoers and literally turning the entire world pink.”

“A massive achievement like this is possible when you have an incredible
filmmaking team, with cast and crew coming together to create a truly special moviegoing experience,” added Warner Bros. motion picture group CEO/Co-Chairs Pam Abdy and Michael De Luca.

“Along with our partners at Mattel, and with the support of the entire Warner Bros. Discovery family, we are thrilled that audiences the world over are embracing the ‘Barbie’ movie in such a profound way,” Abdy and De Luca continued. “With ‘Barbie’ becoming the biggest film at the summer box office, Greta now joins an elite group of writer/directors whose singular vision has generated $1 billion at the global box office, a milestone that is testament to her brilliance and to her commitment to deliver a movie that Barbie fans of every age want to see on the big screen.”

“Barbie” passed the mark on its third weekend as it grossed $53 million domestic and $74 million overseas. The running totals stand at $459 million domestic and $572 million overseas.

Gerwig’s film is also on pace to pass “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” to become the highest grossing film of 2023, as “Mario” stands at $574 million domestic and $1.35 billion worldwide.

If it does, it will stand as the fourth highest grossing film of the post-COVID shutdown era, standing only behind “Avatar: The Way of Water” ($2.3 billion), “Spider-Man: No Way Home” ($1.91 billion) and “Top Gun: Maverick” ($1.45 billion).

As TheWrap reported last month, “Barbie” was singled out by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav for what was called “Operation Barbie Summer,” an all-in marketing campaign that spanned across the entire company’s media portfolio. It was the first time Warner Bros. Discovery attempted such a campaign since Warner and Discovery merged a year ago.

Combined with strong critical and audience reviews — plus some help from the “Barbenheimer” cultural phenomenon — “Barbie” has become the top-grossing film in a summer with multiple tentpole releases that have fallen short of their pandemic-inflated budgets.

With weekend drops of less than 50% over the last two weeks, “Barbie” has the signs of legging out for weeks if not months, something that Warner Bros. is anticipating as Zaslav announced in WBD’s quarterly earnings call that the film would not be released for streaming on Max until autumn.

“We really believe in the motion picture window. Let this movie go to the motion picture window, play it up, build up that brand, then have it go into PVOD. Take it through these windows of economics that have worked forever, and we think work extremely well. And then put it on Max. And when it goes on Max, we think it’ll have a very good impact and that’ll be in the fall.”