All the box office records broken by 'Barbie'

Greta Gerwig's smash hit has made history in more ways than one

The film continues to shatter expectations at the box office.
(Image credit: VALERIE MACON / AFP via Getty Images)

Greta Gerwig's Barbie girl is taking over the Barbie world. The director's "Barbie" movie was always expected to perform well, but it has blown even the most optimistic of predictions out of the water with one of the most stunning box office runs in recent film history.

With no sign of slowing down, "Barbie" is set to be the highest-grossing film of the summer and possibly of the entire year, putting every recent superhero movie to shame. Its jaw-dropping success suggests there's a hunger for blockbusters aimed at women, as well as movies that feel like truly original visions from filmmakers with a unique voice. As one major milestone is in sight, these are the "Barbie" movie's most impressive, and historic, box office accomplishments to date:

2023's biggest opening weekend

"Barbie" debuted to a phenomenal $162 million at the domestic box office, the biggest opening weekend of 2023.

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This title was previously held by "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," which opened to $146 million over three days in April (although it grossed $204 million over the five-day Easter weekend). It surpassed "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse," which had a $120.5 million debut, and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which opened to $118 million. "Barbie" also had the largest three-day opening for a non-Marvel movie since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The debut shattered expectations, as just weeks earlier, tracking suggested "Barbie" would only open to between $70 million and $80 million.

Biggest opening for a film that's not a sequel or a remake

In fact, "Barbie" had the 20th largest opening weekend in domestic box office history and the fifth biggest for a movie that's not a superhero or "Star Wars" film (after "Jurassic World," 2019's "The Lion King," 2017's "Beauty and the Beast," and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"). Though "Barbie" is not an original film, it's also not a direct follow-up to, or remake of, any prior movie. That made its opening the biggest ever for a film that isn't a sequel or a remake (counting "Black Panther" as a sequel, as it's technically a follow-up to "Captain America: Civil War"). The previous record was held by 2012's "The Hunger Games."

Third biggest opening for a July movie

"Barbie" had the third biggest opening ever for a movie released in July after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" ($169 million) and 2019's "The Lion King" ($191 million). In terms of July openings, it beat both "The Dark Knight Rises" ($160 million) and "The Dark Knight" ($158 million).

With "Oppenheimer," fourth biggest weekend of all time

This one was a group effort, but thanks to the dual release of "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer," the domestic box office had its fourth biggest weekend ever when tallying the grosses of all films playing in theaters. The only bigger movie weekends in history were ones in which a new "Avengers" or "Star Wars" film was released.

Biggest opening weekend for a film directed by a woman

The $162 million domestic debut for "Barbie" was the biggest opening weekend in history for a movie directed by a woman. The record was previously held by "Captain Marvel," which had a $153 million opening in 2019. On the current list of top 20 biggest domestic opening weekends in history, "Barbie" is the only one made by a female director.

Biggest Monday for a Warner Bros. movie

It's one thing for a film to have a large opening, but it's another for it to maintain momentum after that. "Barbie," though, has continued to impress since its initial debut.

Indeed, on the Monday after its opening weekend, the film took in a stunning $26.1 million domestically. This was the biggest Monday for a Warner Bros. movie in the studio's history, a record held by "The Dark Knight" since 2008. "Barbie" also had the 13th highest-grossing Monday ever.

Biggest second Monday of all time outside of major holidays

As box office analyst Luiz Fernando pointed out, though, "Barbie" scored the second highest-grossing Monday ever at the domestic box office for a movie not released around a major holiday after "Avengers: Endgame." It went on to gross even more on its second Monday than "Endgame," giving it the best second Monday gross ever outside of films that played on Memorial Day or over the Christmas season.

Biggest second weekend for a Warner Bros. movie

By its second weekend, "Barbie" grossed an additional $93 million domestically, more than it was projected to make in its first weekend. This set another record for the biggest second weekend for a Warner Bros. movie ever and the seventh-biggest second weekend in domestic box office history. All of the bigger second weekends were for films — "The Avengers," "Jurassic World," "Black Panther," "Avengers: Infinity War," "Avengers: Endgame," and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" — that had initial debuts north of $200 million, making it especially impressive that "Barbie" stood among them with a lower start.

"Barbie" additionally had the biggest week ever for a Warner Bros. movie. The film could potentially become the highest-grossing movie ever released by the studio, surpassing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which took in $1.3 billion worldwide.

Coming soon: First $1 billion movie from a sole female director

"Barbie" is expected to pass $1 billion worldwide in the coming days, which will make it the first film from a sole female director to do so. The only other movies from female filmmakers to gross over $1 billion are "Captain Marvel," "Frozen," and "Frozen II," but all three were co-directed with a man. "Wonder Woman" is currently the highest-grossing movie of all time from a sole female director, though "Barbie" is expected to pass that this week.

"Barbie" will also become only the seventh movie to gross $1 billion that isn't a sequel, remake, adaptation of a book, or part of a cinematic universe after "Avatar," "Titanic," "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," "Frozen," "Joker," and "Zootopia." Its resounding success could change Hollywood's willingness to finance somewhat riskier movies that are the products of singular, visionary directors — that, or it will just lead to many, many more movies based on toys.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.