Margot Robbie's Barbie dancing, holding up her hands and clapping while winking, in the midst of a Barbie dance party in Greta Gerwig's Barbie movie.

Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ Wins Biggest Opening Weekend Ever for a Female Director

Yes, Barbie!

It was a good weekend for Greta Gerwig and Barbie fans everywhere. Barbie has trounced Oppenheimer and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 to not only have the biggest opening of the year (suck it, Super Mario Bros. Movie, who previously held that record!) but also be the biggest opening for a female director, ever. Yes, Barbie! Gee, it’s almost as if when you let women make stories that interest them, the crowds follow.

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Barbie has surpassed Captain Marvel to take home that coveted accolade by bringing in $155 million in its opening weekend. Per Variety:

Greta Gerwig cemented box office history as her cotton candy-colored blockbuster “Barbie” scored a massive $155 million in its opening weekend, marking the biggest debut ever for a film directed by a woman.

“Captain Marvel,” which was co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, previously held the title after earning $153 million in 2019. “Wonder Woman,” from filmmaker Patty Jenkins, stood as the record-holder for a movie solely directed by a woman with its $103 million debut in 2017.

Now, on the one hand, it’s pretty sad that this kind of record needs to be called out because there are so few women directors given these opportunities in Hollywood. On the other hand, hell yes Greta Gerwig! Take your victory lap because Barbie clearly won the Barbenheimer contest. (Side note: can someone get me stats on whether Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer was the biggest opening weekend for a male blond British filmmaker?) In fact, Barbie’s opening was so big, it surpassed two of Nolan’s biggest blockbusters of all time. Per AP:

“Barbie” also earned the title of the third biggest July debut ever, surpassing Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises” — not adjusted for inflation — and trailing only the live-action “The Lion King” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

Can’t wait for the next Gerwig movie? Well, according to IMDB you probably will have to. There’s nothing in her upcoming slate as a director (but if Warner Bros. didn’t lock her in for a multi-movie deal, I bet they’re kicking themselves right now, and I hope she gets all the money) but she does have a writing credit on the upcoming Disney live-action remake of Snow White starring Rachel Zegler and Gal Gadot, so at least that’s something to look forward to.

The good news is, Barbie is not expected to slow down anytime soon at the box office. Per AP:

With good reviews and audience scores in its arsenal, word-of-mouth enthusiasm and watercooler buzz, as well as no direct new competition on the calendar, it’s likely that “Barbie” will have “long legs,” a common phrase in the exhibition business that means a movie will continue selling significant numbers of tickets far past its opening weekend.

“This film is working everywhere,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ head of domestic distribution. ‘This historic result reflects the intense heat, interest and enthusiasm for ‘Barbie.’”

Personally, I look forward to a day when there are so many female directors that their successes no longer need to get called out as unique. Until that day, though, we toast Greta Gerwig’s massive accomplishment!

(Featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and reality TV in particular for six years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She is the co-host of the popular Bravo trivia podcast Bravo Replay, and her favorite Bravolebrity is Kate Chastain, and not because they have the same first name, but it helps.