Oppenheimer’s Emily Blunt Explains Why She Wants Another Barbenheimer Moment For The Film World

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Written By Maya Cantina

When Barbie and Oppenheimer were both released in the theaters on the same day this summer, it took the world by storm. Fans got a kick out of such widely different movies releasing on the same day, that many decided to participate in an unlikely double feature. The trend caught on, resulting in big box office returns for both films. The social media movement was like catching lightning in a bottle, and was extremely beneficial for the movie theaters. It feels like a once in a lifetime occurrence, but Emily Blunt is hoping the same thing happens again for other movies. 

The “Barbenheimer” moment resulted in people heading to the theaters in droves. People dressed up for the occasion, made memes, and made a whole day out of going to the movies to see these two films. It was so unusual and expected, that it turned two weekend competitors into partners at the box office. They benefited from each other, and convinced audiences to check out films that they may not have otherwise. In a recent interview with Playlist, Blunt explained why she hoped that other films would have the same kind of cultural moment. She said:

The explanation as to how Barbenheimer happened, and if it could happen again is a tricky one. It’s not very often that two exciting auteurs like Christopher Nolan and Greta Gerwig decide on the same release date, both offering something different and unique to the medium. Also the internet latching onto both films as accompaniments also was bizarre and special, something a marketing team could likely not have predicted. The timing is also so specific, two summer movies emerging from the pandemic that offer something different for everyone is a very fortunate happenstance, especially movies that are both very good. 

Many hoped that “Barbenheimer” could be the beginning of a trend for the release of other titles in the 2023 movie release schedule. Some joked that they should see both Paw Patrol and Saw X on the same day, dubbing it “Saw Patrol.” While a funny joke, it didn’t quite catch on in the same way. However, the “Barbenheimer effect” did seem to trickle down in some ways at the theater. Fans got dressed up to see the Taylor Swift Eras Tour concert film this fall, resulting in a very strong box office, and movies in general garnered larger audiences at the theaters as opposed to previous years. 

Even if another double slate never reaches the Barbenheimer highs that Blunt may hope for, she is right to say it was a big positive for films in general. Barbie and Oppenheimer were both original, non-sequel movies with strong creative visions that got people excited to go to the movies. Hopefully the trend of these kinds of movies doing well continues, and prompts studios to continue investing in these kinds of films. While sequels and superhero films are fun, there’s something so unique about new ideas with deep, meaningful messages being showcased. 

If you missed out on the Barbenheimer theatrical phenomenon this summer, you can still see Emily Blunt in Oppenheimer, which is currently available to rent on Amazon. You can also check out Barbie, which is streaming now with a Max subscription


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