- AMC Theaters set new opening week box office records for movies
- Barbie was the year’s biggest film debut with a $162 million opening weekend
- Oppenheimer earned $80.5 million in its first weekend, shattering expectations
AMC Theaters set a new record for movie ticket sales last week, driven by the huge success of the ‘Barbenheimer’ opening weekend with two blockbusters.
The world’s largest cinema chain operator said in a press release on Monday that it recorded the highest one-week admission revenue in its 130-year history for the week of July 21 to July 27.
AMC said the record week was largely due to the wild success of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie , which took in $162 million at the box office in its opening weekend, and Oppenheimer , which had an $80.5 million opening weekend.
Together, the two films have grossed $1 billion at the worldwide box office in about two weeks.
“These two films, along with the many others playing on our big silver screens, continue to rewrite what’s possible at the box office,” AMC chairman and CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.
“Achieving the most admissions in a single week in AMC’s 103-year history is a testament to moviegoers who have once again demonstrated that they are ready, willing and eager to come out to theaters in large numbers,” he added.
AMC did not disclose how much its theaters specifically made from the two films.
The Barbenheimer phenomenon has been a boon to theaters after a summer of sluggish box office sales after The Flash flopped and the latest Indiana Jones movie underwhelmed.
Excitement over Barbie and Oppenheimer’s dueling debuts continued into the film’s second weekend, as groups dressed in pink continued to flock to theaters.
Barbie remained No. 1 last weekend with $93 million in box office sales, followed by Oppenheimer with an estimated $46.2 million.
The two films are seemingly polar opposites, but the excitement for each has enhanced the other, and some devoted moviegoers have seen both on the same day.
Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie’s iconic beau, Ken, sends Mattel’s iconic doll on an adventure into the real world.
Oppenheimer is director Christopher Nolan’s historical tale of the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and the invention of the atomic bomb, starring Cillian Murphy.
More than 200,000 people bought tickets for Barbie and Oppenheimer on the same day, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.
Barbie has earned more than $351 million in the U.S. and Canada since opening on July 21, and nearly $775 million globally, Comscore reported.
Universal’s Oppenheimer has so far grossed $174 million in the US and Canada and $400 million worldwide.
The films have captured the attention of American moviegoers at a time of strife and uncertainty for Hollywood.
The Writers’ Guild of America has been on strike over pay since May, while SAG-AFTRA — the union for actors, including A-listers like Robbie and Murphy — went on strike earlier this month.
In addition to halting virtually all film production, the strike means actors can’t promote their films as normal, making the latest box office bonanza all the more impressive.
AMC Theaters said last weekend marked its third busiest weekend globally since theaters reopened from their 2020 pandemic closures.
Admissions easily doubled admissions for the same weekend last year, the company said, without disclosing revenue figures.
In addition to Barbie and Oppenheimer, the company said the opening of the Haunted Mansion boosted ticket sales, along with the continued success of Tom Cruise’s latest Mission Impossible movie and the unexpected summer hit Sound of Freedom.
“Our appreciation goes out to so many of our friends in Hollywood for releasing all the many hit movies that have graced our theaters, especially over the past few months,” Aron said.
AMC said the Friday-Thursday movie week from July 21 to July 27 was the highest-grossing week ever for 65 of its U.S. theaters individually, including 13 theaters in the Los Angeles market and nine in New York City.