"Barbie" and "Oppenheimer"

“Oppenheimer” sold $5 million in tickets this weekend because “Barbie” was sold out

The “Barbenheimer” double features were just the beginning. Disappointed by the sold-out shows, hundreds of thousands of Barbie fans turned to Robert Oppenheimer for solace. The result: $5 million more at the box office than “Oppenheimer.”

According to film data research firm The Quorum, 6 percent of people who saw “Oppenheimer” in the United States this past weekend did so because “Barbie” tickets were sold out. “Oppenheimer” made $83 million domestically, so $4.98 million is attributed to “Barbie’s” leftovers. (“Oppenheimer” made $93.7 million at the overseas box office.)

“Barbie” made $161 million domestic this weekend and $182 million overseas; read IndieWire box office guru Tom Brueggemann’s Sunday story here.

The Quorum conducted its “Oppenheimer” viewer poll on Sunday, asking viewers why they saw Christopher Nolan’s film. “Ticket purchased because ‘Barbie’ was sold out” was one option for respondents, The Quorum founder David Herrin told IndieWire.

“Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” greatly exceeded expectations. On Saturday, AMC, the largest movie theater chain in the United States, had its busiest day since July 2019, the company said in a Monday morning news release. As of Sunday night, more than 87,000 AMC Stubs members alone had booked tickets to see “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” on the same day, for AMC.

“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” and “The Sound of Freedom” each brought in an estimated $20 million more worldwide this weekend. It was AMC’s biggest weekend since COVID nearly destroyed the trade show industry.

“What a fabulous weekend for moviegoers at AMC theaters in the United States and abroad,” said Adam Aron, president and chief executive officer of AMC. “AMC sends a huge thank you and congratulations to Greta Gerwig, Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and the entire team at Warner Bros., and to Christopher Nolan and the team at Universal Pictures. They’ve proven that well-made, well-marketed films that capture audiences can come out on the same weekend and both be hugely successful.”

Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning – Part One”Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Skydance

You know what wasn’t great for AMC during “Barbenheimer’s” opening weekend? A Delaware court has blocked the planned conversion of the company’s APE (APE) shares into AMC common stock (AMC).

The surprise ruling meant immediate gains for AMC’s shareholders, but a major headache for Aron, who happens to be the company’s largest individual shareholder. The conversion would have diluted AMC’s common stock, but would have raised the necessary capital.

Aron addressed the “existential” issue in an open letter posted on Chirping X. (Are we going with “X” now?)