Margot Robbie as Barbie (2023) and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in The Deathly Hallows Part 2

This Barbie Has Usurped Warner Bros.’ Highest-Grossing Film

She's everything. He's just Harry.

It’s been a Barbie girl summer, and with only a few days before Barbie (2023) releases for digital download, the film has shattered another record. Barbie has done what some have seen as impossible and unseated Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 as Warner Bros’ highest-grossing film of all time.

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There are many different measures of box office success, from opening weekend to international vs. domestic box office, but Barbie has outdone every Warner Bros. film in almost every category, from the DC Expanded Universe to the Dark Knight trilogy and now to the boy wizard, Harry Potter himself.

This success is important for Warner Bros. on the whole, as they have been in dire financial straits for the past year following many questionable decisions from CEO David Zaslav. However, it should be noted that the financial success of the film will not be fairly distributed among the writers and actors that created it (support the WGA and SAG-AFTRA).

Perspective

Hari Nef as Doctor Barbie in Barbie (2023)
(Warner Bros.)

Personally, I do feel that there is a certain amount of irony to this. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie features a transgender actress playing Doctor Barbie at a time when trans rights are being attacked everywhere, but especially in the U.S. and U.K. We’ve covered the many problems with J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans rhetoric previously, and seeing the highest-earning film in her franchise unseated by a film that embraces trans women is vindicating at the very least.

It’s not a perfect film by any means, but it is a step forward in positive but well-rounded representation.

Of course, Hollywood does seem to be taking a lot of the wrong ideas from the success of Barbie. Mattel has already greenlit a veritable cinematic universe of films based on their properties. Actor Randall Park told Rolling Stone that the studios should be focusing on creating female-led films, not films about marketable toys. On that, we wholeheartedly agree.

(featured image: Warner Bros. Pictures)


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Author
Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.