The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is projecting that more than 200,000 moviegoers will attend same-day viewings of Barbie and Oppenheimer at theaters across North America this weekend. That’s in addition to all of the moviegoers who plan to see the films on different days.
Michael O’Leary, the president and chief executive officer of NATO shared, “Movies have once again confirmed their power to capture our cultural imagination, with the cinema proving to be the ultimate place to go to be part of a shared experience. The excellent word of mouth on these movies, along with a diverse range of other thrilling titles, promises a continued upswing in attendance, validating that movie theaters are essential to our cultural landscape.”
AMC Theatres recently reported that over 40,000 loyalty program members have purchased advanced tickets to see the films on the same day. AMC’s chief executive officer Adam Aaron turned to Twitter today, sharing, “Barbie and Oppenheimer have the 12th and 17th highest same period U.S. advance ticket sales in AMC history. I doubt they will finish that high, but it demonstrates the appeal of these movies and of AMC. Who ever was predicting that movie theaters are dead? #CHOKEonTHAT”
Prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike, Barbie star Margot Robbie shared with USA Today, “I think it’s the perfect double bill. It’s like having a steak dinner, then an ice cream sundae for dessert. I want both!”
“Movies in theaters have that unique ability to mobilize audiences over a single weekend in a way only rivaled by professional sports championships,” shared The Cinema Foundation President Jackie Brenneman with Boxoffice Pro. “On TV, when fans are watching similar shows on similar timelines, you may find them connecting on social media, but the real connection goes largely unseen and unfelt. There is nothing like walking into a packed theater of film fans and hearing the positive buzz in the lobby. There’s an unmistakable sensation when movie fans share a moment that can’t be duplicated anywhere, and that’s what the double feature moviegoers are seeking.”
In her first feature as director since 2019’s Little Women ($108.1M domestic/$218.8M global), Greta Gerwig tackles the first big screen live-action story based on Mattel’s global fashion doll franchise. Barbie stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, alongside America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell. The film is directed from a screenplay by Gerwig & Noah Baumbach and Gerwig’s behind the camera talent includes director of photography Rodrigo Prieto, six-time Oscar-nominated production designer Sarah Greenwood, and Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran.
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer is an IMAX-shot thriller that tells the story of a man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it. The film stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer and Emily Blunt as his wife, biologist and botanist Katherine ‘Kitty’ Oppenheimer. The cast also includes Gary Oldman, Kenneth Branagh, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, and Rami Malek. Nolan’s most recent films include 2020’s Tenet ($58.5M domestic/ $365.2M global), 2017’s Dunkirk ($189.7M domestic/ $527M global), and 2014’s Interstellar ($188M domestic/ $773.8M global).