‘Barbie’ Passes ‘Super Mario Bros’ to Become 2023’s Top Film at Domestic Box Office

The Mushroom Kingdom has given way to Barbieland as Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” has passed the domestic box office total of Universal/Illumination’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” making it the year’s highest-grossing film in the U.S. and Canada.

“Barbie” reached the milestone on its 34th day in theaters to bring its total to $575.4 million. With over $1.3 billion grossed worldwide, “Barbie” is also on the verge of passing “Mario” at the overall box office, needing approximately $50 million to become the year’s top global grosser.

With another $25 million, “Barbie” will become just the 14th film in box office history to reach $600 million in North America before inflation adjustment. It would be the first Warner Bros. title to do so, having already passed the all-time domestic record for the studio held by “The Dark Knight” with an unadjusted $534 million total in 2008.

In a world of tentpoles that tend to skew towards younger, male audiences, “Barbie” has bucked that trend as a film explicitly made with women as the core audience but which has gained a global fanbase that has transcended demographics. In doing so, it has made Greta Gerwig the first woman to solo direct a film with over $1 billion at the global box office.

“The worldwide enthusiasm for ‘Barbie’ has been overwhelming, humbling, and deeply moving.  So many Barbie fans went on this journey with us, and we can’t thank them enough for supporting the film and sharing their ‘Barbie’ experience in theaters, across social media, and out in the world,” Gerwig said in a statement on Wednesday.

While “Barbie” has reached this box office achievement without the aid of Imax screenings — the premium format had a three-week exclusive engagement with Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” — Warner Bros. announced this week that “Barbie” will get a one-week limited engagement on Imax starting on Sept. 22 with never-before-seen footage after the credits.

“If there was one thing missing in this winning ‘Barbie’ strategy, it was being able to put Greta’s singular vision on premium Imax screens over the uber-competitive summer corridor. That ‘Barbie’ continues to draw packed audiences around the world heading into its sixth weekend in release speaks to the quality of the film and the excitement audiences have for the story,” Warner Bros. distribution chiefs Jeff Goldstein and Andrew Cripps said in a statement.

“Greta, Margot, Ryan and everyone involved in ‘Barbie’ have not just captured, but held the attention of moviegoers everywhere, and we are so pleased to give them a chance to see ‘Barbie,’ whether for the first or fifth time, in such an experiential format as Imax,” they added.

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