What was Barbie movie's budget and how much money does it need to break even?

A still from Barbie (Image via Warner Bros. Pictures)
A still from Barbie (Image via Warner Bros. Pictures)

As the Margot Robbie starrer Barbie inches closer to its release, so does the film's anticipation among fans. Directed by Greta Gerwig, the film will showcase the exploits of Ken and Barbie as they go on a voyage of self-discovery after leaving the mystical Barbieland. The entire production budget of the film is $145 million and to break even, it has to earn at least $300 million at the box office.

Apart from Margot Robbie as the titular character, the film stars Ryan Gosling as Ken, and Will Ferrell as the CEO of Mattel, the company that makes the iconic dolls. Additionally, the film will also star names like Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Hari Nef, Alexandra Shipp, Dua Lipa, and Emma Mackey, among others who play the various iterations of the doll. Meanwhile, actors like Simu Liu, Rob Brydon, and John Cena play different versions of Ken with Micheal Cera playing the role of Allan.

Barbie has to earn a minimum of $300 million to be declared a success

In a recent interview with The New York Times, the film's director Greta Gerwig revealed that the initial budget of the film was around $100 million. However, as days went by, it gradually jumped to $145 million.

To be declared a box office success, a film needs to earn two to three times its budget. This means that Greta Gerwig's film will have to make at least $300 million, which isn't an unachievable number. One of the reasons behind this is the fact that the film has several big names in major roles. Additionally, the team has been doing a lot of elaborate worldwide marketing and advertising for it.

While it was initially predicted that the film would earn $40 million during its opening weekend, the number has now jumped to $70-80 million. If the speculations are spot on, Barbie would earn 50% of its production budget during its opening weekend itself. While fans have no doubt that the film is destined for success, the real story will only be revealed after the movie is released.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Greta Gerwig revealed how terrified she was to accept the job of directing the film.

She said the character wasn't someone like a superhero who already had a story and that the film felt like it was going to be an adaptation. However, she added that what they were adapting from was a doll, who is "an icon of the 20th century."

"It felt complicated enough, sticky enough, strange enough, that maybe there could be something interesting there to be discovered," Gerwig stated.

She continued that she had two thoughts before taking up the project. One of them was that she loved it and wouldn't have liked anyone else to make the film. The second was that they wouldn't get to make the film.

Describing her complex relationship with the doll while growing up, Greta said that she was always intrigued by the doll. She added that while the doll wasn't forbidden from their house, it wasn't encouraged.

"Oh, the usual criticisms. ‘If she was a real woman, she wouldn’t even be able to stand up; she wouldn’t be able to support her head.’ My mum was a child of the 60s. She was like, ‘We got this far, for this?’” Gerwig said.

However, she said that her mother got her the doll in the end.

Barbie synopsis

The official synopsis of the film according to Warner Bros. Pictures reads:

"To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken."

The film will be released worldwide on Friday, July 21, 2023, along with Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer.

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Edited by Madhur Dave
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