With sales exceeding half a billion dollars.. Oppenheimer and Barbie films smash the box office

The first weekend for Oppenheimer and Barbie, which were released on the same day, offered a glimpse of hope for the Hollywood community amid ongoing labor disputes, as writers and actors unions continue to strike.

Moviegoers once again flocked to theaters this weekend, grabbing Greta Gerwig and Christopher Nolan’s “Barbie” Oppenheimer with a total of $235.5 million in ticket sales, making it probably the fourth biggest box office weekend of all time.

Oppenheimer’s “Barbenheimer” and the accompanying social media discussions may have contributed to its record-breaking viewership this week as many moviegoers chose to see the two contrasting films on the same day.

Barbie topped the 2023 box office with $155 million in ticket sales in North American theaters, which broke the first-weekend record for a movie directed by a woman.

And “Oppenheimer” took second place with sales of about $ 80 million in its first week.

This weekend also marks the first time that a movie opened with more than $100 million and another movie opened with more than $80 million during the same weekend.

The National Association of Theater Owners said about 200,000 people booked tickets on the same day for the two films.

Internationally, “Barbie” earned $182 million from 69 territories, and “Oppenheimer” took in $93.7 million from 78 territories.

The successful opening weekend follows Hollywood’s twin strikes as the Writers Guild of America is set to enter its third month of strike, and the Screen, Television and Radio Actors Guild of America is set to enter its second week of strike. This is the first time in over 60 years that the writers and actors have struck at the same time.

Press tours for Barbie and Oppenheimer were disrupted earlier this month as a result of the strike after the union and the studios could not be reached after more than a month of talks over a new three-year contract.

Union rules stipulate that striking members cannot appear in person or promote their work on podcasts or premieres, meaning that the main cast of both films did not promote their work in the United States in the days leading up to the debut.

Not only did the striking unions ask moviegoers not to attend upcoming films like “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer”, but instead they asked supporters to publicize the strike issue on social media.

Unions have announced a schedule of sit-ins in cities across the United States, including New York City and Los Angeles.

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