Barbie becomes Ireland’s most successful box office film of all time

Greta Gerwig's blockbuster has officially become Ireland's highest-ever grosser, ending Avatar's 14-year reign.

A promotional photo for Barbie, Ireland's most successful box office film ever. The image shows Margot Robbie as Barbie holding a pink heart-shaped hand mirror, in which we see the reflection of her winking and smiling.
Image: Twitter: @PopCrave

Barbie has become Ireland’s most successful box office film of all time, amassing €8,854,036 since its release on July 21. Carving its name in history as the country’s highest-grossing movie ever, Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster has surpassed James Cameron’s Avatar, which held the title for the past 14 years, having amassed €8,702,779.

Barbie’s success has been credited in part to the quote-unquote rivalry with Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s biographical thriller starring Cork-born actor Cillian Murphy. With the productions sharing the same release date, the so-called ‘Barbenheimer’ phenomenon was born, and the double bill sparked huge online conversation and buzz among audiences. 

This discourse ultimately translated into sales, with Irish cinemas recording approximately 799,000 admissions in the films’ opening week.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Graham Spurling, Director of Movies @ Dundrum, commented, “Between (Barbie) and Oppenheimer, in the 17 days after 21st June, every cinema was, I imagine, the busiest it had ever been. Because, for once, we had two films making money. So we hit 100 per cent of our potential audience.

“That rarely happens. We often have one film doing well, but they are limited in the genre they appeal to. This hit all four quarters of our audience.”

Similarly, CEO of Pearl and Dean Ireland Eoin Wrexon said, “To see Barbie on track to tank as one of the biggest films of all time at the Irish box office…shows how cinema has returned stronger than ever.”

Barbie becoming Ireland’s most successful box office movie of all time is just one of the many records broken by the feature. It is now Warner Bros’ highest-ever grosser in the US, topping The Dark Knight, and it has also achieved the highest-grossing opening weekend for any film directed by a woman.

To date, it has taken in €1.18 billion globally, putting it in a good position to become the world’s most successful film of 2023 by the end of the year.

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