Barbie pulled in an estimated $53 million domestically in its third weekend, bringing the film’s worldwide box office to $1.03 billion, Sunday estimates indicate. Gerwig, 40, is the only solo female director to join the billion-dollar director club with a live action movie. (Captain Marvel‘s Anna Boden, who co-directed with Ryan Fleck, is the only other woman to helm any of the 53 movies to surpass $1 billion).
The movie stars Robbie, 33, as a Barbie who starts experiencing strange thoughts about death and flat feet. She determines that the only way to combat her existential dread is to leave Barbieland to find whoever is playing with her in the real world.
Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment produced the Mattel film, and the star has made it clear that she made big promises about the box office to the WB before landing the film.
“I think my pitch in the green-light meeting was the studios have prospered so much when they’re brave enough to pair a big idea with a visionary director,” she recalled in a pre-SAG-AFTRA strike interview with Collider in July. “And then I gave a series of examples like, ‘dinosaurs and [Steven] Spielberg,’ that and that, that and that – pretty much naming anything that’s been incredible and made a ton of money for the studios over the years. And I was like, ‘And now you’ve got Barbie and Greta Gerwig.’”
She concluded, “I think I told them that it’d make a billion dollars, which maybe I was overselling, but we had a movie to make.”
Barbie will be among the highest-grossing movies of the year. It’s only second to The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which hit theaters in April and pulled in $1.35 billion at the worldwide box office.
Gerwig initially wasn’t set to direct Barbie, which also stars Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera and Will Ferrell. Gerwig and partner Noah Baumbach co-wrote the script and the Little Women filmmaker realized she had to be the one helming the film.
“I was originally meant to just write it with Noah, and then we finished the script and that was the thing that made me want to direct it. It felt so clear to me: If they didn’t want to make that [version], I didn’t need to make it,” Gerwig told the New York Times last month.
She continued, “Margot, as the producer and star, was really the first person to line up and say, ‘I want to do it her way.’ And then as we started adding collaborators and gathering more cast, suddenly there was a large number of people who were excited to do something that was this, excuse the pun, out of the box.”
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While Barbie has surpassed expectations, so has her opening day competitor Oppenheimer. While the second half of the Barbenheimer phenomenon hasn’t quite joined the billion-dollar club, director Christopher Nolan‘s atomic bomb drama surpassed $550 million at the worldwide box office.