Behind ‘Operation Barbie Summer’: How Warner Bros. Created a $162 Million Box Office Triumph

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Warner used all its resources — including those from its Discovery merger — to sell Greta Gerwig’s vision of Barbie to the world

Margot Robbie attends the press junket and photo call For "Barbie" in Los Angeles, California (Courtesy of Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

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After nearly a year of box office misfires, Warner Bros. has ended its losing streak in the biggest way imaginable with “Barbie,” which scored a $162 million opening and become one of the studio’s top five highest-opening weekends in history.

It is also the first major theatrical victory for the new Warner leadership under Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who called on his team early this year to build an all-in marketing campaign internally called “Operation Barbie Summer” to promote to the world writer-director Greta Gerwig’s unique vision of the most famous doll ever made across the media portfolio created by the company’s merger last year.