It’s no longer a question of whether Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” will be the highest grossing film of the summer but whether it will be the highest grossing film of 2023, as it has earned a Warner Bros. record $93 million in its second weekend at the box office.
This excellent second weekend total not only represents just a 43% drop from the film’s $162 million opening weekend but also matches the second weekend total of the current top film of 2023, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” That film went on to gross $574.1 million domestic and $1.34 billion worldwide, totals that “Barbie” now has a good chance to beat with a 10-day $350 million domestic total and over $750 million worldwide.
Meanwhile, Universal’s “Oppenheimer” is earning just as strong a hold with a second weekend total of $46.2 million. That is a drop of just 44% from its $82.4 million opening and the best second weekend ever for an R-rated film. “Oppenheimer” is also the first film with that rating to earn more than $10 million in each of its first 10 days of release.
After getting initial interest lifted by the “Barbenheimer” craze, “Oppenheimer” is now being embraced by audiences on its own merits, becoming the most successful drama the box office has seen since “Joker.”
The film has a $176 million domestic and $400 million global total through two weekends, with $80 million coming from Imax screenings alone. The only other film to make that much from Imax in 10 days is “Avengers: Endgame,” and Imax is answering the overwhelming demand by extending the film’s run on its screens through August 13.
On the downside, “Barbenheimer” has steamrolled Disney’s “Haunted Mansion,” which has opened to just $24.2 million from 3,740 theaters. Produced on a $155 million budget, the Disneyland-inspired film is set to join “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” on the list of Disney misfires seen at the box office this year.
We’ve seen Disney family films leg out after a poor start this summer, as Pixar’s “Elemental” went from a $29.5 million domestic opening to a $145 million cume in North America. But while that film earned top audience marks with an A on CinemaScore, “Haunted Mansion” has earned a B+ from audiences and will face stiff competition for family attention not only from “Barbie” but from Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” which is getting strong reviews ahead of its Wednesday release.
Angel Studios’ “Sound of Freedom,” armed with a far lower production and marketing budget and steady turnout from conservative audiences, is faring better against “Barbenheimer” with $12.4 million in its fifth weekend, putting it on the threshold of passing the $150 million domestic mark.
Completing the top 5 is Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning,” which is seeing its hopes of turning a theatrical profit diminish even further with $10.7 million grossed in its third weekend.
With $139.2 million grossed domestically, “Mission: Impossible 7” is now 14% behind the pace of its 2018 predecessor “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” and will continue to fall behind that pace heading into August. With just under $450 million grossed worldwide through three weekends, the film will fall short of turning a profit against its $290 million budget before marketing.
Just below “MI7” is the A24 horror film “Talk to Me,” the debut feature from Danny and Michael Philippou that has earned a $10 million opening from 2,340 theaters and against a budget of just $4.5 million.
Critics have been more enthused about “Talk to Me” than moviegoers with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 95% critics and 82% audience to go with a B+ on CinemaScore. But the film still looks to be on pace to join Ti West’s “X” and “Pearl” among the list of indie horror hits that A24 has become known for releasing year in and year out.