Summer Box Office Hits $4 Billion Thanks to “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer”

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in "Barbie"

After a few slow years, this summer has been pretty amazing for the moviegoers everywhere. The summer box office crossed the $4 billion mark domestically for the first time since 2019, largely thanks to the success of the smash hits Barbie and Oppenheimer.

Both released on July 21, Barbie and Oppenheimer became a viral phenomenon known as “Barbenheimer”, and many people saw them as a double feature. By doing so, the moviegoers helped increase the public’s interest in these films and made it possible for both projects to rack in impressive box office numbers.

Barbie became the highest-grossing film of 2023, earning $612 million in North America and $1.36 billion globally to date. Oppenheimer exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations and went on to earn $311 at the domestic box office and $850 million worldwide.

These weren’t the only films contributing to the impressive summer box office. The list of top earners in North America between May and August this year also includes Sony’s animated superhero flick Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ($381 million), Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ($358 million), and Disney’s The Little Mermaid remake ($298 million.

All these box office hits contributed to this summer’s $4 billion haul, for the first time in the pandemic era, but the box office is yet to recover to the pre-pandemic heights of 2019 ($4.38 billion), according to Comscore.