Barbie + Oppenheimer

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Barbenheimer, also known as Barbie Heimer, is a portmanteau of the words "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" in reference to the 2023 movies Barbie and Oppenheimer, which were released on the same date (July 21st, 2023), causing a slew of Barbie vs. Oppenheimer memes that humorously combined the contrasting aesthetics and themes of both films. In turn, the word "Barbenheimer" spawned on social media and gained its own traction in memes and viral discourse, mostly in reference to the act of doing a double feature of both films. Many Barbenheimer memes and fan art used images that were both pink and black (correlating with the color palettes of both films), as well as images that involved both explosions and girly aesthetics.

"Barbieheimer": how "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" came together in a battle for audiences and spawned the year's top movie nominee

So different and yet together

On July 21, Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" and Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer" - two expensive artbusters that the whole world will remember the summer of 2023 - will be simultaneously released in wide theaters in the United States. We tell you how it happened that these movies are released on the same day, who should beat who in terms of collections and how the meme "Barbieheimer" was born

The simultaneous release of two potentially super-popular movies with different audiences is par for the course for Hollywood. For example, the second "Puss in Boots 2" went up against "Avatar 2" and did quite well against the giant. In Russia, such clashes of hits also happen - for example, during the New Year holidays. If counter-programming is well thought out and justified, the competitors not only do not interfere with each other, but, on the contrary, enhance the overall effect, attracting even more viewers to theaters.

Christopher Nolan himself is not the first time he finds himself in a similar situation. On July 18, 2008, "The Dark Knight" came out in the U.S. against the musical "Mamma MIA!" and both films became box office hits. Nolan took in a billion dollars and Phyllida Lloyd took in nearly $700 million.

"Darkmama" was coming so the "Barbiegamer" could run

It happens in the game industry too. For example, in the spring of 2020, the cartoon Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released at the same time as DOOM: Eternal, a game in which the protagonist rips out monsters' eyes with his bare hands to heavy music. This contrast spawned a lot of memes and fan art on social media. It was "Barbieheimer" before "Barbieheimer."

How July 21 became a double release day

After the pandemic began in 2020, Warner Bros. announced that it would release its blockbusters simultaneously in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max (the HBO set-top box fell off in April 2023). This decision is often cited as the reason for Christopher Nolan's breakup with the studio. The director, who actively advocates that people watch movies in theaters, decided to leave to Universal and shoot "Oppenheimer" with competitor WB.

Nolan nailed down a July 21 date in October 2021, and it was announced at the same time that Cillian Murphy would play the lead role in his film. Warner Bros. had originally planned to release the animated film "Coyote vs. Acme" on that date, but replaced it on the schedule with its tentpole "Barbie" in April 2022.

The media believes that "Barbieheimer" happened precisely because of the rift between Nolan and his former studio, allegedly it is not counter-programming, but revenge. According to insiders, the "Oppenheimer" director was annoyed by WB's decision. Rumors surfaced in the spring of 2023 that Nolan's blockbuster might leave for the fall, closer to awards season, but they didn't materialize. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. heads have publicly announced a desire to reconcile with the director and renew their collaboration, but their words have yet to have any apparent effect. The clash of the two movies appeared inevitable.

How much do the movies cost, who will win and what does Tom Cruise have to do with it

Despite not being part of the meme, Tom Cruise has proven to be part of the Barbiegamer phenomenon at the box office. The seventh installment of "Mission: Impossible" came out a week before July 21 and will lose IMAX halls almost immediately. Many movie theaters will give them to Christopher Nolan, one of the biggest fans of the format, who used IMAX film. Either all such halls will fall to "Oppenheimer," or "Mission" will have only one or two screenings per day. At the same time, the IMAX corporation remains indebted to Cruise: his second "Top Gun" breathed life not only into the movie theater distribution, but also into premium formats. "Maverick" became the twelfth highest-grossing title in IMAX history.

"Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" for the first weekend collected 235 million dollars in the world, performing below expectations in the U.S. and China. The movie will have to try to compensate for the 290-million-dollar budget bloated because of Covid, but previous installments of the series usually showed good stamina at the international box office (the penultimate "Consequences" - 791 million with a modest 60-million-dollar start in the U.S.). Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros. hope that all three films will be successful, and even launched a flash mob: the stars of "Barbie" and "Mission" were photographed with tickets to each other's sessions, and at the same time "Oppenheimer" and "Indiana Jones".

So who's gonna win? "Barbie or Oppenheimer? Predictions are that no one will come out on the losing end. Nevertheless, "Barbie", which cost without taking into account the marketing of 145 million dollars, promises about 100-140 million for the first weekend in the U.S., and 100-million "Oppenheimer" - a strong 50 million. Both pictures are sure to stay on the first lines for a long time and pay off, but Nolan's picture seems to perform at the box office more modestly than the competitor.

How and when the meme appeared

The word "Barbiegamer" came into the minds of several Twitter users. The first person to seemingly post it was Matt Neglia, founder and editor-in-chief of movie website Next Best Picture. It was in early 2022, when "Barbie" slid into the studio's July 21 schedule.

The striking contrast in the visual aesthetics of the two films ("Barbie" - in bright pink colors, "Oppenheimer" - half black and white, with an orange explosion counterpoint) and their promotion became a popular cause for jokes. While Universal and the media were pumping up the festival pathos around the next Nolan picture ("the most important movie of the century", "blockbuster without computer graphics"), the authors of "Barbie" told how they arranged a shortage of pink paint.

"The Week Before the Barbiegamer" (characters from "The Amazing Mrs. Maisel")

Marketing departments of studios did not fit into the spontaneous "Barbieheimer" campaign - fans took over. The movie event quickly developed its own posters and fan art - from simple Photoshop to pictures that would not be ashamed to use in studio marketing.

Movie theaters also joined in the fun. For example, the British Showroom Cinema specially arranged the sessions so that the audience could watch two movies in a row and even choose the size of the break between them.

The Barbiegamer itself got a trailer, a crazy mashup of footage from the two movies.

People started creating their own merch as well. For example, a T-shirt with the main quote of "Oppenheimer" printed in "Barbie" font.

Many Twitter users said they bought tickets for two consecutive screenings at once.

Judging by the early indications, there will be no losers in "Barbiegamer." Both films have both positive reviews from critics and the potential for box office success. And cinemas that never shipped from Covis will get a giant wave of viewers representing a wide variety of tastes and demographics. The only thing to worry about is Tom Cruise and the seventh "Mission" - the movie has too big a budget to break into this huge race. On the other hand, Ethan Hunt has gotten out of more trouble than this.

Watch Barbie and Oppenheimer Online

Watch Barbie (2023) online

A little doll lived in a perfect world and was happy. However, even the most pleasant times can suddenly come to an end. But soon she was banished because of her external imperfections. For this young and inexperienced young lady was not ready. But she had no other choice. Had to set out to meet the harsh world. Finding herself in the real world, she will face not only bad creatures. But with those who would give her hope for a better future. Even in the darkest and most unpleasant days, she will not be left with the hope that life is still sure to get better. Is there any hope of one day returning to that perfect world where she had no place? Or to count on it is extremely foolish? Either way, the beautiful person will go through severe tests. Her character will be tempered, and she will look at familiar things differently. But will the beautiful person be able to find incredible happiness? Or is it something that will remain out of her reach? What awaits her in the future and will determine how the difficult fate of this little girl!

Watch Oppengamer (2023) Online

The movie will show the life and experiences of nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer. Christopher Nolan's movie will reveal the question of the scientist himself, his experiences and difficulties he had to face on his way to develop a nuclear bomb. Oppenheimer faces the ethical questions of saving or destroying all humanity, questions of ambition and life principles. In addition to the fact that the movie touches on such deep issues, it also has a wonderful visual range and many will like it.