Barbie overtakes Super Mario Bros to be 2023's biggest box office hit

A scene from the Barbie movie
Margot Robbie leaves behind Barbieland in the film based on the popular toy doll

Barbie has officially become the year's biggest box office hit, after the doll's big-screen earnings overtook the Super Mario Bros Movie's total.

The Barbie movie, which sees Margot Robbie's titular toy swap her pink fantasy home for the real world, has now made $1.38bn (£1.1bn) globally.

That has taken it past the $1.36bn taken by the Super Mario Bros Movie.

Barbie has also helped the US summer box office reach the $4bn (£3.2bn) mark for the first time since the pandemic.

Analysts did not expect cinemas to reach that milestone, but the success of Barbenheimer - Barbie and Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer, which were released on the same day in July - propelled takings past last year's total of $3.4bn (£2.7bn).

Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya in Dune
The loss of films including Dune: Part II means the cinema schedule has fewer obvious hits for the rest of the year

Industry experts also predicted that the Super Mario Bros Movie would be the biggest film of 2023. But Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, has proved them wrong on that front too.

The biggest films of 2023 so far

  1. Barbie - $1.38bn

  2. The Super Mario Bros Movie - $1.36bn

  3. Oppenheimer - $853m

  4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 - $846m

  5. Fast X - $705m


The Equalizer 3, starring Denzel Washington, proved to be another summer hit on its release this weekend, taking $34.5m (£27.3m) in its first three days at North American box offices.

However, there are concerns in Hollywood that there may be a drop-off for rest of the year after films including Dune: Part II, Kraven the Hunter and the Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel moved their release dates to 2024, as the ongoing Hollywood strike prevents actors from promoting studio movies.

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