As Barbie Crosses A Billion At The Box Office, Meg 2 And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Have Solid Opening Weekends

 Ryan Gosling as Ken in Barbie
Ryan Gosling as Ken in Barbie

We don't see as many billion dollar movies today than we did just four years ago. In 2019 alone there were nine blockbusters that hit 10 figures at the global box office, but since 2020 there have only been five. As such, it's a big deal now to see a movie cross that milestone – and Greta Gerwig's Barbie is the latest to achieve that feat following yet another excellent weekend where it once again dominated all other titles presently in theaters.

Check out the full Top 10 below and join me after for analysis.

Barbie Weekend Box Office August 4-6, 2023
Barbie Weekend Box Office August 4-6, 2023

Barbie Becomes The 51st Movie Ever To Make A Billion Dollars At The Worldwide Box Office

To be honest, there are no real surprises here. Barbie has been looking like a potential billion dollar hit ever since photos from the set made their way online in 2022 showing Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in dazzling neon costumes as Barbie and Ken, respectively. The hype began there, grew with the arrival of the debut trailer, and then the movie became a pre-release cinematic phenomenon when people became obsessed about it sharing an opening weekend with Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer (a.k.a. the Barbenheimer movement). The film set a whole bunch of records when it hit theaters last month, and the wins just keep coming.

Having made an additional $53 million in ticket sales in the last three days from cinemas in the United States and Canada (a modest 43 percent weekend-to-weekend drop), Barbie has now brought its domestic total up to $459.4 million. While that's not quite enough for it to be called the region's biggest 2023 hit thus far, it is quickly sneaking up on Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic's The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which made $574.2 million during its big screen run this past spring. It should easily become number one before the end of August

The new pink four-quadrant hit also continues to put distance between itself and Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, and Kemp Powers' Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which sits in third place on the 2023 domestic chart having made $380.1 million (while now outside of the Top 10, the Sony Pictures Animation release is still playing in 435 locations around the country and made $530,000 this weekend).

Margot Robbie in Barbie
Margot Robbie in Barbie

Having just just barely crossed the $1 billion milestone this past weekend (according to The Numbers), the film is now ranked as the 51st highest grossing movie of all time – having surpassed Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. It will need to make another $357 million to catch up with The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which now ranks as the 15th biggest film ever... but it won't be getting anywhere close to catching up with the biggest hit from 2022: James Cameron's Avatar: The Way Of Water, which finished its theatrical run making $2.3 billion.

So what will be the movie that slows Barbie down and knocks it out of its perch at the top of the weekend box office? That's not easy to predict presently. It's likely that it will win its fourth crown next Sunday, with the primary competition being just André Øvredal's The Last Voyage of the Demeter, but we'll have to wait and see what happens one week after that when both Angel Manuel Soto's Blue Beetle and Josh Greenbaum's Strays debut.

Meg 2: The Trench Has A Softer Opening Than The Meg, But Has A Good Showing By 2023 Standards

While we still wonder what title will supplant Barbie in the number one position at the box office, Oppenheimer has lost its hold on second place thanks to the arrival of Ben Wheatley's Meg 2: The Trench. The new Jason Statham-led shark movie didn't exactly ride into theaters on a wave of positive buzz (it's currently rocking a 29 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes), but a nice fraction of the movie-going public were drawn to its promises of goofy blockbuster action, and as a result, it just had what is on the books as the twentieth biggest opening weekend of the year so far.

By 2023 standards, a $30 million start for a movie is solid – though it is worth pointing out that the new release is off to a slower start than its predecessor. When Jon Turteltaub's The Meg arrived in theaters in August 2018, it became the number one movie domestically with $45.4 million made in ticket sales. That late summer surprise ended up earning $145.4 million in the United States and Canada and $381.8 million overseas.

Whether or not Meg 2: The Trench will also become a $500 million hit worldwide is presently unknown – but it is certainly worth noting that the film is off to a fast start aboard. It's already come out in a number of major markets, including China, and worldwide has made $142 million thus far. Variety reports that the movie cost about $129 million to produce (that figure not including publicity and marketing), so it still has a bit of work to do before it's considered profitable/a hit.

Like its predecessor, it may need to depend on the majority of its money coming from outside North America, as the movie appears primed for a significant weekend-to-weekend drop following its debut. Meg 2: The Trench is sporting a mediocre 74 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a "B-" grade from CinemaScore surveys, which suggests that there isn't going to be too much positive word of mouth spreading around – and that's a recipe for a title that will ultimately be described as a front-loaded release when we look back on it at the end of the year.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Opens In Fourth Place, But May Still Be In A Better Position Than Meg 2

The early reported numbers posted in the chart toward the top of this article show that Meg 2: The Trench was the victor in its opening weekend showdown with Jeff Rowe's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem... but while the former may have won the battle, the latter may end up winning the war (so to speak). The live-action shark movie has bragging rights for now, having made $2 million more than the new animated Turtles reboot in the last three days, but the fourth place title is better set up for success.

While it's true that Mutant Mayhem earned less than the last two big screen Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles releases (Jonathan Liebesman's 2014 movie had a $65.6 million start and David Green's Out Of The Shadows from 2016 had a $35.3 million debut), but it's potentially in a good position for long term success. For starters, it cost just $70 million to make (per Deadline), but it also may end up being the beneficiary of a post-Barbie wave. Young people are presently obsessed with Margot Robbie's billion dollar hit, but positive buzz for Mutant Mayhem may see eyes get drawn to it in late August when the Mattel movie cools down. Like Peter Sohn's Elemental earlier this summer, it can play the long game for success.

Be sure to head back here to CinemaBlend next Sunday for our next box office report and assessment of the biggest movies playing in theaters – and get a preview of what's on the way in the rest of the year by checking out our 2023 Movie Release Calendar.