‘Barbie’ defeats ‘Oppenheimer’ in record-breaking, industry-reviving duel

"Barbie" has the biggest 2023 domestic opening weekend.

Warner Bros. Pictures' "Barbie" premiered in first place at the box office this weekend, earning $155 million in the US and Canada. According to studio estimates, Universal Pictures' "Oppenheimer" started in second place with $80.5 million.

"Barbie," directed by Greta Gerwig, had the greatest domestic debut of the year, topping "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" ($146.4 million).

According to Comscore, "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" helped make this the highest-grossing weekend since the epidemic began in early 2020 and the fourth-highest domestic box office weekend ($302 million).

Setting such records may be more significant. "Avengers: Endgame" in 2019, "Avengers: Infinity War" in 2018, and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in 2015 have dominated the highest-grossing weekends. 

This is the first time two rival films opened to over $100 million and $80 million. In an industry increasingly dependent on franchises, "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" are not superhero movies, sequels, or reboots.

Before "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer," Comscore reported that the domestic box office was 16.1% and 6.6% behind 2019 and 2022, respectively. 

Due to Hollywood's writers and actors' strikes, talent won't promote upcoming projects, therefore the record won't be broken soon.

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