Francis Ford Coppola Applauds ‘Barbenheimer’ Success as ‘Victory for Cinema’

The Oscar-winning filmmaker also predicts that a “golden age” of movies is on the horizon thanks to “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer”

Francis Ford Coppola
Getty Images

Oscar-winning “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now” filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola applauded the unprecedented success of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” as “true one-offs” as a “victory for Cinema” in a recent social media post.

“I have yet to see them,” Coppola wrote of the latest blockbusters when responding to questions on his Instagram story. “But the fact that people are filling big theaters to see them and that they are neither sequels nor prequels, no number attached to them, meaning they are true one-offs, is a victory for Cinema.”

In the second weekend of release, “Barbie” earned an additional $93 million in its second weekend at the box office following its $162 million opening weekend, while “Oppenheimer” raked in $46.2 million this weekend after its $82.4 million opening. While both films both stand alone without an existing franchise, the “Barbenheimer” craze that drove audiences to theaters added to the debut’s success.

Coppola’s comments, which come as the “Conversation” filmmaker has become active on Instagram ahead of the release of his long-in-the-works film “Megalopolis,” follow his previous assertion that Marvel movies were bad for cinema.

“There used to be studio films,” Coppola told GQ in a 2022 interview. “Now there are Marvel pictures. And what is a Marvel picture? A Marvel picture is one prototype movie that is made over and over and over and over and over again to look different.”

Coppola also defended Martin Scorsese when the filmmaker came under fire for saying that films within the Marvel cinematic universe weren’t “real films,” with Coppola saying at a 2019 press conference that “Martin was being kind when he said it wasn’t cinema … He didn’t say it was despicable, which is what I say.”

Despite his previous cynicism, in responding to a subsequent question about what Coppola predicts the state of movies will look like in 10 years, the filmmaker responded with pure optimism.

“My hunch is that we’re on the verge of a golden age,” he concluded. “Wonderfully illuminating cinema seen in large theaters.”

Coppola is currently preparing for his ambitious passion project “Megalopolis” to finally hit the big screen after he began writing the script in the 1980s. Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Nathalie Emmanuel,  Aubrey Plaza, Jason Schwartzman and Shia LaBeouf are among those in the ensemble.