Box Office: ‘Haunted Mansion’ Spooked, ‘Barbie’ Heads for Record $95M Second Weekend

Box Office: ‘Haunted Mansion’ Spooked, ‘Barbie’ Heads for Record $95M Second Weekend

Barbie really is a pink unicorn.

The movie is on course to earn $95 million or more in its sophomore outing, one of the best second weekends of all time at the North American box office, and the best second weekend gross ever for Warner Bros., not adjusted for inflation. That includes a $29 million Friday.

The female-fueled Barbie, which continues to shatter any and all expectations, should finish Sunday with a domestic cume of around $350 million. Detractors had predicted it would fade away quickly after a history-making debut over the July 21-23 weekend, but that isn’t the case. Barbie is looking at a scant decline of 41 percent, a rare hold for a pic originally opening to such a big number at $162 million.

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Barbie continues to paint the overseas box office pink as well for a dreamy global total of $750 million or more by Sunday as it fast approaches the $1 billion mark. It will be only the second pic of 2023 so far to join the box office billion-dollar club after Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which grossed $92.3 million in its second weekend on its way to topping out at $1.34 billion worldwide.

Other stats: Barbie enjoyed the biggest first week in Warner Bros. history at the box office, outpacing Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

Not that Nolan needs to fret. His Universal movie Oppenheimer — the other half of the Barbenheimer effect — is also a box office force of nature that is holding up incredibly well in its sophomore outing. The three-hour biographical drama is tipped to gross $46 million this weekend, a mere 44 percent drop and the biggest second weekend ever for an R-rated pic ahead of Deadpool 2‘s $43.5 million, not adjusted for inflation. Its Friday tally was $13.4 million.

Oppenheimer is expected to finish the weekend with a global haul of $395.4 million, including $173.9 million domestically and $221.5 million at the foreign box office, to rank as the filmmaker’s sixth-biggest film of all time ahead of Tenet and Batman Begins. Overseas, it is already Nolan’s biggest film ever in 28 markets and his biggest non-superhero title in 39.

Elsewhere, Disney’s Haunted Mansion is getting spooked in its debut. The live-action family pic is headed for a subdued domestic opening of $23 million to $27 million after posting a Friday gross of $9.9 million (Friday’s tally includes previews). That would be one of the lowest starts ever in terms of Disney’s live-action reimaginings of theme park attractions or classic animated films. Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested a $30 million launch.

In addition to going up against Barbenheimer, the live-action pic is also challenged by mediocre reviews and the struggling family marketplace. The star-packed cast was also unable to do publicity and press in the final two weeks before the film’s launch because of the SAG-AFTRA strike, including staying away from the movie’s Disneyland premiere on July 15.

Disney is hopeful that good audience scores will make up for any deficits and provide the film with long legs, considering there isn’t much family competition for the rest of the summer (Haunted Mansion earned a B+ CinemaScore). Pixar and Disney’s Elemental started off slow earlier this summer but has enjoyed an enviable multiple.

Director Justin Simien’s film, which turns Disneyland’s iconic attraction into a supernatural horror-comedy, stars Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Chase W. Dillon, Daniel Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jared Leto and Danny DeVito.

Angel Studios’ sleeper summer hit Sound of Freedom continues to hold at third place behind Barbie and Oppenheimer. Paramount’s Tom Cruise tentpole Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One continues to try and rebound from Barbenheimer and is looking at a fourth-place finish.

Haunted Mansion isn’t the only new supernatural offering. A24’s specialty film Talk to Me, from Australian twin brothers and filmmakers Danny and Michael Philippou of RackaRacka YouTube channel fame, looks to open in the $9 million to $9.5 million range. The film, acquired out of Sundance by A24, is eyeing a sixth-place finish.

Estimated grosses will be revised Sunday morning.