Events, Film & Television

Barbenheimer sweeps the nation

The Barbie movie, directed by Greta Gerwig, takes viewers through a journey of self-discovery and the joys and troubles of human life. While addressing important themes such as identity and friendship, the movie transports viewers to a world of imagination and wonder.

Christopher Nolan brings Oppenheimer viewers through the process of the revolutionary event known as the Manhattan Project. Focusing on physicist and womanizer, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, the movie cohesively wove science and captivating storytelling through surreal imagery and special effects.

Barbie took in $162 mil from 4,243 theaters during the blockbuster weekend while Oppenheimer opened in 3,610 theaters and banked in $85 million.

Each movie brought something different to the table, whether it was feminism and togetherness or the terrifying effects technological advancements can have on the world and the human psyche. Oppenheimer brought mesmerizing audio and visuals without the use of CGI.

“I really liked the visuals of Oppenheimer’s mental state and the controlled chaos in the public speaking scenes,” said viewer Adam Dandashi.

The female casting in Barbie as well as their occupations in the movie highlighted multiple struggles for women and was more emotional than many expected.

“I had a giant smile on my face from the second the lights went down, the anticipation for this film was entirely unreal and I was not disappointed,” said Barbie-enthusiast Bleu Kingsley. “She [Margot Robbie] and her fellow cast members had the most beautiful chemistry I have ever seen in a film. ”

The attention to detail in Barbie, such as the way the heel of her foot never touches the ground just like an actual Barbie Doll, adds whimsy to the movie. In addition, many people appreciated that the film peacefully displayed the dangers the matriarchy poses to society.

Barbie brought women and people of all ages together through a shared experience and struggles of being a woman. People are saying “Hi Barbie!” as they pass another person wearing all pink, complimenting outfits and sparking up conversations about how the movie “changed their lives.”

A map using data from Google Trends displayed where each movie held dominance across the nation. As Barbie brought a solid sea of pink to the southern states, Oppenheimer won its home state of New Mexico. Simultaneously, Barbie is in the running for Mississippi.

Although the map is a pink and blue pattern, many people notice similarities from the 2020 electoral map, raising questions about targeted audiences and stereotypes across red and blue states.

“The focus of Barbie movie being one that its message is more easily concealed through marketing and girly framing probably had a lot of southern women interested,” said CSULB political science alumni, Emory Harkins. “I lived in the South until I was 12 and from personal experience with southern women, I have found that they are often apolitical and even liberal in some ways compared to the men.”

The map shows some of the states neutral during the 2020 election, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, remained neutral for the movies as well. Simultaneously, southern states such as Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi, became designated to Barbie.

“Oppenheimer was a lot more of a “manly” movie which wouldn’t appeal to all southern women and men. In my experience, they are not willing to look at the negative sides of US conflict, which is what the movie seems to be all about.” Harkins said.

In addition, the marketing for each movie varied across the nation in intensity and quantity. While Oppenheimer had a $100 million marketing budget, Barbie used $150 million.

“I think the fact that Barbie is so popular in the South is less about politics and more about marketing,” explained Harkins.

One of Oppenheimer’s marketing campaigns included a billboard with a countdown clock. After nine months of watching the countdown, people in Los Angeles were confused when it hit 00:00:00 before the movie even came out. Onlookers were expecting a theatrical event or sound effects to occur after the count but after doing some research, they realized the countdown represented the time of the actual detonation, July 16, 1945 at 5:30 a.m.

People on the internet wonder if there is a connection to be made between your political stance and which movie you watch. Regardless, the box office had a field week with these two movies.

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