Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Barbie’s Margot Robbie reveals ‘Oppenheimer’ producer’s tactics

Greta Gerwig's 'Barbie' and Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' created the 'Barbenheimer' buzz in summer

Greta Gerwigs Barbie and Christopher Nolans Oppenheimer created the Barbenheimer buzz in summer
Greta Gerwig's 'Barbie' and Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' created the 'Barbenheimer' buzz in summer 

In a conversation for Variety's Actors on Actors, Margot Robbie opened up about being asked to delay the release of Barbie for Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer.

Robbie said Oppenheimer producer Charles Roven, who also worked on Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, called her to suggest moving the dates.

“One of your producers, Chuck Roven, called me, because we worked together on some other projects,” Robbie said. “And he was like, ‘I think you guys should move your date.’ And I was like, ‘We’re not moving our date. If you’re scared to be up against us, then you move your date.’ And he’s like, ‘We’re not moving our date. I just think it’d be better for you to move.’ And I was like, ‘We’re not moving!'”

According to Robbie, Roven implied Oppenheimer should have the summer weekend to itself. But Robbie refused, confident the films would make a "great pairing." Their July 21, 2023 release date ignited the "Barbenheimer" phenomenon over the summer.

“It’s a perfect double billing…Clearly the world agreed. Thank God,” Robbie added. “The fact that people were going and being like, ‘Oh, watch “Oppenheimer” first, then “Barbie.”‘ I was like, ‘See? People like everything.’ People are weird…I think they were also really excited by the filmmakers. People were itching for the next Chris Nolan film and itching for the next Greta Gerwig film. To get them at the same time was exciting.”

Robbie's instincts proved right, as both movies greatly exceeded box office expectations. Barbie became Warner's highest grossing film ever with $1.4 billion worldwide. Oppenheimer was the top earning biopic globally at $950 million.

During their conversation, Cillian Murphy agreed the blockbuster double feature happened because both films delivered quality storytelling.

“I think it happened because both movies were good,” Murphy told Robbie about the response. “In fact, that summer, there was a huge diversity of stuff in the cinema, and I think it just connected in a way that you or I or the studios or anybody could never have predicted.”