‘Barbie’ is Warner Bros.’ highest-grossing global release ever

Aug 29, 2023, 3:56 PM

(CNN) — Warner Bros. has swapped its wands for pink heels.

Summer smash “Barbie” is the highest-grossing global release in the studio’s 100-year history, beating out 2011’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” edged out the saga’s finale by $767,505, according to Comscore projections. Comscore estimated a global total of $1,341,854,460 through Monday for “Barbie.”

On Monday, Warner Bros. said “Barbie” will pass “Harry Potter” to become its highest grossing film globally. That’s still not enough to crack the top 10 highest-grossing movies of all time, however, which is dominated by Disney franchises like Marvel’s Avengers, Star Wars and Avatar.

‘Barbie’ tops ‘The Dark Knight’ becoming Warner Bros.’ biggest American box office movie

The highest-grossing film of all time is “Avatar,” which took in $2.9 billion globally, according to Box Office Mojo. It was produced by 20th Century Fox and debuted in 2009. The Avatar franchise is now owned by Disney.

“Barbie” and the “Harry Potter” films are distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, which is owned by CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.

“When ‘Barbie’ was first announced, I don’t think anybody could have predicted that this will become the global phenomenon that it has,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst at Comscore.

While “Harry Potter” had a longer path to success over several films, Barbie’s meteoric rise was “the perfect storm,” Dergarabedian said, of a cultural, movie and social media phenomenon coming together.

Dergarabedian said the movie could have a ripple effect going forward for the industry.

“The implications moving forward are that it can be very successful for Warner Bros. and of course Mattel for sure,” he said.


A blockbuster summer


Just last week, “Barbie” surpassed “Super Mario Bros.” as the highest-grossing movie at the domestic box office this year. It took Barbieland just 34 days since its release to reach the record-breaking title.

“Barbie” started breaking records early. It made $155 million domestically in its opening weekend, marking the largest opening weekend of the year and the biggest-ever debut for a female director. “Barbie” also was crowned Warner Bros. Discovery’s highest-grossing domestic release, beating out “The Dark Knight” in 2008.

“Barbie” hit the $1 billion global box office mark barely three weeks into its run — only about 50 films in history, adjusted for inflation, reached the benchmark, Dergarabedian previously said. Gerwig became the first solo female director with a billion-dollar movie.

The film no longer rules the domestic box office, though. In late August, “Blue Beetle” — also distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures — unseated “Barbie” from the top of the US box office. Its $25 million domestic opening paled in comparison to “Barbie,” however.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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‘Barbie’ is Warner Bros.’ highest-grossing global release ever