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Barbie’s Greta Gerwig becomes the highest-grossing female director of all time at the domestic box office

The Barbie juggernaut continues to break records at the box office, with THR reporting this weekend that Greta Gerwig just became the highest-grossing female filmmaker in US box office history as her plastic-wrapped opus swept past the previous record holder, Frozen IIon Friday.

Gerwig’s collaboration with Margot Robbie is doing a lot of good at home and abroad, actually: although it still has some way to go before it can beat the second Frozen film (co-directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck) for worldwide achievement, it has already surpassed its only live-action competition, 2019’s Captain Marvel. (Co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.)

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Let’s talk numbers: at the domestic box office, Barbie approaching top performance of the year, period; at $502 million, it is now behind The Super Mario Bros. movie with just $70 million. (It will have another $100 million to go forward if it wants to beat avatar2which split its theatrical run between 2022 and 2023, overall, though it has already beaten the shooting of the 2023 James Cameron movie.) By comparison: Frozen II grossed $477 million in domestic markets in the sunny, pre-pandemic days of 2019.

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international, Barbie will have a little harder time collecting the Kenergy to win: while it does well in most markets (beating its unlikely theatrical brother Oppenheimer in almost every country where the two are both in theaters) it is unlikely to match Mario‘s global appeal. (Slow rollouts and even bans in some Middle Eastern countries probably won’t help there.) Real will have to move if it wants to beat Frozen II international; Disney’s film did massive numbers (more than $100 million each) in both Japan and China during its theatrical run. Barbiemeanwhile, has yet to open in Japan, where Warner Bros. has received criticism for linking the film to it Oppenheimer in memes – though the movie gets modest success in China despite a slow opening in the country. (If you want to follow the film’s fate across the planet, Variety has an interesting piece comparing his performance to Oppenheimers in virtually every market on Earth.)

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The result of it all is that Gerwig is now the highest-grossing solo female director of all time – and the only director to crack the billion dollar mark. (Which is kind of depressing, considering there are 53 movies on the list, only three of which are even co-directed by women.) But what’s up? Barbie for if not breaking down barriers (in a fiscally successful way)?

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