If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably still on a Barbenheimer high. With one of the most successful box office weekends in all of cinema history, it’s no doubt that both Barbie and Oppenheimer have been permanently etched into our brains. But the real question is, which film performed best, and where? And before you jump to assumptions and surmise that Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie’s pink fever dream only snatched the hearts of those hippy-dippy Californians, think again.
Over the weekend, a particular Barbenheimer-related TikTok video began trending. It explicitly showed state by state which film was trending the highest in the US. And the results are beyond fascinating:
First off, the fact that most Americans are far more interested in a movie-based state-by-state survey as opposed to an actual electoral map really speaks to the seriously dire state American politics are currently in.
Next are the actual results. So, some of the standouts have to include the infamous ‘Barbie belt’. From what we can deduce from the map, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansaw, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia all went completely nuts for Robbie’s film—whether or not Ryan Gosling’s portrayal of Ken played any part in that is unknown, but I’m sure we can all assume that it definitely helped.
New Mexico on the other hand was absolutely enamoured with Oppenheimer. This, of course, makes sense considering the historic legacy of the area and how intrinsically linked New Mexico and the atomic bomb are. Some reports have even stated that foot traffic in iconic bomb sites in the state has massively increased.
What’s slightly more confusing, however, is how few people in California seem to actually care about Barbie. Considering the fact that one of the most iconic scenes in the film sees Robbie and Gosling rollerblade down the Venice boardwalk—a Los Angeles hot spot—it’s surprising to me that Oppenheimer has been trending much more in the sunny state.
There were, of course, some swing states as well. Wyoming, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin clearly had much better things to do this past weekend than get wrapped up in any Barbenheimer hype.
Either way, it’s no doubt that both films absolutely surpassed audiences’ expectations. Barbie, for example, took in an approximately $155 million during its opening weekend in North America. So, it makes complete sense as to why we might be about to experience a decade of nostalgia-fuelled films—the toy era is upon us.
According to Forbes, Mattel, the toy company that created Barbie, are planning on unleashing a cohort of toy-themed films in the future. Move over Marvel, Mattel might be your new competitor in the race for franchise glory. There are apparently 45 films or film concepts currently in play, including movies which will look into well-known characters such as Barney the Dinosaur, Polly Pocket, and Hot Wheels.
In fact, there’s been a potential Polly Pocket movie on the cards since 2021. Allegedly, the ever-so-problematic Lena Dunham will be written and directed by the Girls actor and will star Lily Collins. There’s not yet been an update on a potential release date.