Margot Robbie spills on how she made ‘Barbenheimer’ happen


Margot Robbie has somewhat taken responsibility for making ‘Barbenheimer’ – the shared release date between Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie – happen

‘Barbenheimer’ was undoubtedly the biggest moment that cinema has had in years, with millions selling out their local cinemas to catch the two blockbuster films.

As far as cinephiles were concerned, the hottest ticket of the year wasn’t for Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour or Taylor’s Era’s Tour, but for both Barbie and Oppenheimer on 21 July.

Margot Robbie is indirectly responsible for ‘Barbenheimer’. (@barbiethealbum,@rollingstone/Instagram)

The global phenomenon was the boost that the film industry had been waiting years for, breaking several box office records and directly impacting the economy by boosting entertainment spending.

Now, six months later, it would appear that Hollywood has Barbie star Margot Robbie to thank for ‘Barbenheimer’.

The Australian actress, who executive produced Barbie, admitted that she had something to do with the unlikely film pairing in a recent chat with Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy for Variety’s Actors on Actors series.

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Robbie told Murphy that, after learning that the two projects were coincidentally scheduled for the same date, she outright refused to move her film.

Oppenheimer was released in cinemas on the same date as Barbie. (Universal Pictures)

Cillian Murphy explained in the new interview that director Christopher Nolan was “determined” that Oppenheimer would be released in the summer, and that he had a long-running “superstition” about the date of 21 July.

“Do all of his movies come out on that date?” Robbie asked him.

Murphy told her: “In or around 21 July. They always come out then.”

Robbie then teased: “I mean, it’s a good date,” before explaining how she might have accidentally played a part in the phenomenon that was ‘Barbenheimer’.

“One of your producers, Chuck Roven, called me because we worked together on some other projects,” Robbie said.

Margot Robbie in Barbie.
Barbie and Oppenheimer were two of the highest-grossing movies of 2023. (Warner Bros)

“And he was like, ‘I think you guys should move your date.’ And I was like, ‘We’re not moving our date. 

“If you’re scared to be up against us, then you move your date.’ And he’s like, ‘We’re not moving our date. I just think it’d be better for you to move.’ 

“And I was like, ‘We’re not moving! I think this is a really great pairing, actually.’ It’s a perfect double-billing, Oppenheimer and Barbie.”

“That’s a good instinct,” Murphy casually noted.

“Clearly the world agreed, thank God,” Robbie replied.

Both films proved to be phenomenal successes, likely with the help of that double-billing.

While Oppenheimer earned an explosive (sorry) $952.6 million at the global box office, Barbie broke records by surpassing the $1 billion mark within the first 17 days of its release.

Oppenheimer is now lauded as the third-highest-grossing film of 2023, while Barbie stands firmly in first place – with The Super Mario Bros. Movie just sort of hanging out in the middle.

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