Barbenheimer’s Connection to the Film Industry
I was as excited as anyone for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer—a film that documents the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Nolan’s Tenet, Interstellar and Inception are among my favorite movies. But leading up to Oppenheimer’s release, I realized the movie was Nolan’s most anticipated. Why? He unintentionally hitched a ride with Barbie.
An Explosive (Yet Glamorous) Combination
The simultaneous July 21, 2023, release of two blockbuster films, Barbie and Oppenheimer, generated a buzz on social media. Pop culture enthusiasts slammed the two together, dubbing the phenomenon Barbenheimer.
I observed unfamiliar sights while standing in line at my local AMC Theater last Thursday to watch Oppenheimer. There was excitement in the air. The concession stands were packed, and moviegoers were snapping pictures next to large promotional posters for both movies. It was the busiest theater I’ve walked into since … I can’t remember how long it’s been.
The IMAX auditorium was packed before the previews even kicked off. And come show time, every seat was filled. These days, I’m usually among a few watching a movie at the theater. This one was extraordinary, and so was the atmosphere.
Box Office Battles
Familiar headlines read: X movie beats X movie at the box office. But on July 21, 2023, Barbenheimer bucked this trend by unintentionally teaming up and bringing business to each other’s showings.
It was interesting that both Barbie and Oppenheimer generated more revenue together due to the hype. Unity, while accidental, propelled these two movies higher.
Competition is natural and it will always exist, but film companies are combining forces for the better. Manny Hondroulis, the vice president of Energy Products Distribution in Baltimore, said it well in his latest WINDOW FILM magazine column.
“Part of the magic is that our collective attitude has changed for the better,” Hondroulis shares. “What used to be an industry of people fighting for the same piece of the pie has become one where we now help each other, recognizing that the pie has gotten substantially larger and there is plenty for everyone.”
He adds, “I often see that industry members comment in relevant social media forums that there is ‘enough work for everyone.’ And they’re right. There is so much architectural/automotive glass and vehicular sheet metal that has never been filmed or coated that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.”
Here’s to Barbenheimer and the power of the unlikely team-up.