Oppenheimer Lost Box Office Battle Against Barbie Before It Even Began

Oppenheimer Lost Box Office Battle Against Barbie Before It Even Began
Image credit: Universal Pictures, Legion-Media

It looks like Gerwig will win over Nolan.

At first glance, Greta Gerwig's Barbie and Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer are two of the most drastically different movies in the world — how can we even compare a biopic about the creator of the atomic bomb to a live-action adaptation of a famous doll?

Well, thanks to Hollywood's unorthodox decision to premiere both films on the same day, Oppenheimer and Barblie are now set to battle it out at the box office, and it looks like the combination of Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie could make Warner Bros. a lot more money than Cillian Murphy expects to bag for Universal.

Surprisingly, the movies not only share the release date, but also the production budget, as both Barbie and Oppenheimer were made for $100 million. Of course, marketing costs are not included in that budget, and both movies will certainly spend tens of millions of dollars on promotion. In any case, the films cost significantly less than any superhero blockbuster, and as a result, expectations for their opening weekends are quite modest.

According to various reports, Warner Bros. is expecting a gross of between $70 and $80 million in the three days in US theaters, which is a staggering number for a movie with a $100-million budget. In other words, if the predictions turn out to be true, Gerwig's Barbie can make the same amount of money that was spent to produce the film in just one week.

On the contrary, it seems that Universal is not so confident in the success of Nolan's Oppenheimer, as analysts are expecting the film to make only $40 million in its first three days. This number may sound a bit low, but considering that the movie runs for three hours and theaters basically can't host as many screenings for Oppenheimer as they do for Barbie, the $40-million opening box office is actually not that bad.

Without a doubt, Nolan's name alone will not allow Oppenheimer to flop at the box office, and even if his film doesn't perform as successfully as Barbie, both movies will surely be praised by both fans and critics.

Barbie and Oppenheimer will hit US theaters on July 21, 2023.