It felt like an inevitability after its historic first two weeks, but it is now official: Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” is now the highest grossing box office hit before inflation adjustment in the 100-year history of Warner Bros.
“Barbie” is set to pass that record on Monday just after its sixth weekend in theaters, ending the 12-year reign atop the all-time studio charts for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” which grossed $1.34 billion in 2011.
Later this week, “Barbie” will also pass the global total of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” to become 2023’s highest grossing film and become the 14th film to gross $600 million in North America without inflation adjustment.
After that, “Barbie” will stand among the top 15 all-time highest grossing films worldwide and will be on the doorstep of passing the $1.43 billion total “Frozen II” — co-directed by Jennifer Lee — to becoming the highest grossing film ever directed or co-directed by a woman.
“Barbie” has made Greta Gerwig the new toast of Hollywood, having already earned a trio of Oscar nominations as the writer-director of “Lady Bird” and “Little Women.” Her self-aware and sharp-witted take on the famous Mattel doll and the issues of gender equity and prejudice that the toy has become intertwined with have won over audiences throughout the world, becoming the rare box office hit primarily driven by women.
“Barbie” has also been a much-needed boost for Warner Bros., which for the past year has dealt with multiple box office busts, particularly from its struggling DC franchise.
But a months-long, company-wide marketing campaign spearheaded by studio chiefs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, along with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, helped make “Barbie” into a cultural phenomenon months before it was even released, ensuring its continued success throughout the second half of the summer.