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Two Blockbusters Face Off at the Box Office

Barbie and Oppenheimer are bringing people back to the movie theater

Cinema in 2023 has produced arguably some of the most exciting and well written films in the 2020’s. Movies like Creed III, Mission Impossible: Dead Wreckoning, Extraction 2, and most notably, Barbie and Oppenheimer. 

Barbie and Oppenheimer, two of some of the highest grossing films of 2023,  have garnered much attention for both their genius cinematography and selected cast in the film. Popular names such, as Robert Downey Junior, Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, and many more starring in Oppenheimer. As for Barbie, names like Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and Will Ferrell made an appearance in Greta Gerwig’s film.

Oppenheimer, a biographical drama film directed by Christopher Nolan, focuses on the life and works of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer, being known for his work in quantum physics, and most remarkably his contributions to the creation of the first atomic weapons. This movie can be said to focus on two key points in Oppenheimer’s life: him being the director of the Los Alamos facility, and the hearings on his loyalty to the United States brought about by a former colleague, Lewis Strauss. Christopher Nolan’s 180 minute epic brings the audience through a variety of emotions, not only through his master camera work, but also through the movie’s soundtrack, composed by Ludwig Göransson. With a budget of $100 million, Christopher Nolan was able to not only cast some of the best actors in Hollywood, but also able to detonate a real bomb. Of course, Nolan did not detonate an atomic bomb, but he was able to drop what is known as MOAB, or “Mother of all bombs”, which is the largest non-nuclear bomb used by the military today. With all of the special effects and Emmy-worthy acting, Nolan’s Oppenheimer was able to bring in a box office of over $700 million dollars and a 93% rotten tomatoes rating, making it one of Nolan’s best performing movies of all time. 

On the other hand, Barbie, a movie directed by Greta Gerwig, a director renowned for her works in movies such as Little Women and Lady Bird, is a film based upon the popular American toy franchise, Barbie (obviously). Focusing on the adventures of Barbie and Ken, Gerwig pivots this movie around Barbie’s journey in soul searching and existential crisis following their introduction to reality, or the “real word”. Barbie has also garnered much attention, and even some minor controversy due to the political inputs in some scenes that some critics have labeled as “feminist propaganda.” Despite these judgements, Barbie was able to earn a box office over $1.36 billion, making it the 14th highest grossing movie of all time. Additionally, Barbie was able to achieve an 88% on rotten tomatoes, not outperforming Nolan’s Oppenheimer, but definitely a statement that most of those who saw the movie, or at least those who left a review on it, thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Critics may say that either of these films are a “delightful masterpiece”, while in contrast, some may be more critical and say that either of these films did not fulfill to their expectations, it’s needless to say that despite the reviews of either movie, both performed extremely well in box office performance, as well as ratings performance. In conclusion, despite what you’ve read on social media or opinions you’ve heard about either movie, it’s important to draw your own conclusions about each film by actually going out and experiencing each of them for yourself.

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