Barbie Could Beat MCU And DC For $1 Billion Trophy

Written By Mikey Sutton • Editor-in-Chief • Owner

Barbie could beat the MCU and the DCEU for the $1 billion club in 2023.

In fact, it’s not even a contest.

Marvel Studios hasn’t produced a $1 billion film since 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home (distributed by Sony). However, that has less to do with Phase Four’s creative issues, which really weren’t that serious. After all, they came close with 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($955.8 million) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ($859.2 million).

This year, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 smashed $843.5 million global. That leaves November’s The Marvels to see if it can match the $1 billion worldwide haul of its predecessor, 2019’s Captain Marvel.

As for the DCEU, Shazam! Fury of the Gods fell from Heaven and The Flash bombed louder than Oppenheimer’s lethal toy. That leaves Blue Beetle for another swing for the dead DCEU.

Barbie Could Beat MCU And DC For $1 Billion Trophy

Barbie Could Beat MCU And DC For $1 Billion Trophy

Image: Facebook

It looks bleak.

Blue Beetle is currently tracking for a $12 to $17 million opening weekend in the U.S. If Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is pushed back from its Christmas release, Barbie has the opportunity to giving both the MCU and the DCEU a $1 billion beating in 2023.

Don’t scoff. The numbers, although early, are hinting at an extremely profitable road ahead. Via Deadline, Barbie is now aiming at a $150 million opening weekend. That would elevate it over The Super Mario Bros. Movie‘s $146.3 million. Super Mario Bros. ended its run with $1.35 billion.

Backed by critical praise and excellent word-of-mouth (Barbie averages a 90% from both critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes), the Margot Robbie comedy looks unstoppable.

People argue back and forth if there’s truly superhero fatigue happening at the moment. To some degree, yes. After all, even general audiences avoided Black Adam, which featured the heavily popular Dwayne Johnson and a post-credits cameo from Henry Cavill as Superman. Michael Keaton’s iconic Batman couldn’t save The Flash.

On the other hand, one could argue it’s a “DC problem.” Warner Bros. Discovery hired MCU vet James Gunn as co-CEO of DC Studios to breathe life in the moribund franchise.

Still, Marvel Studios took a beating with the Ant-Man sequel. In other words, they weren’t immune to failure, either.

Barbie Could Beat MCU And DC For $1 Billion Trophy

Barbie Could Beat MCU And DC For $1 Billion Trophy

Image: Warner Bros. Discovery

At first, Barbie arrived with little hype; much of that was carried by director Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. But then Barbie‘s clever marketing kicked in, and it drenched the world in pink. There’s no denying that Barbie looks and feels fresh.

Like a shiny new toy.

For Robbie, Barbie could be the breakthrough solo franchise for her. Although moviegoers and fans adored her portrayal of Harley Quinn in three DCEU movies, only 2016’s ensemble piece Suicide Squad really took off.

Unlike fellow DCEU actors such as Cavill, Ben Affleck, and even Gal Gadot, Robbie’s future in the DCU reboot is not in doubt. Gunn included her in 2021’s The Suicide Squad and there’s no question she’ll return as Quinn. Albeit in a different universe.

Director Greta Gerwig raises Robbie’s value with this film. This powerhouse team is what DC Studios needs to revive Quinn and Birds of Prey.

Mikey Sutton made his professional writing debut in Movie Flash magazine in the Philippines in 1987 at the age of 18. He wrote for Amazing Heroes, Cinefantastique, and Fantazia in the ’90s. He was a staff writer for The All-Music Guide in the ’00s. He’s a three-time first-place winner at the Washington Press Association Awards. His comic book, Dreamwalker, will be an upcoming TV series directed by Mikhail Red and starring Kate Valdez. He is a proud Filipino-American.