As “Barbie” hones in on becoming the highest-grossing release of the year at the domestic box office, Greta Gerwig’s hot pink comedy is about to get even bigger. Warner Bros. has set an Imax run for the film, with a limited one-week engagement beginning on Sept. 22. The release will also feature exclusive new post-credits footage selected by the film’s director.
The plans, which include a North American rollout and select international territories, were announced by Warner Bros. execs Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution, and Andrew Cripps, president of international distribution, on Wednesday afternoon. The statement also included words from Gerwig.
“We made ‘Barbie’ for the big screen, so it’s a thrill to be able to bring it to Imax, the biggest screen of all,” Gerwig said. “As a special thanks to ‘Barbie’ fans, we’re excited to share a little bit more of our cast and crew’s incredible work by adding special new footage we hope audiences will enjoy.”
“If there was one thing missing in this winning ‘Barbie’ strategy, it was being able to put Greta’s singular vision on premium Imax screens over the uber-competitive summer corridor. That ‘Barbie’ continues to draw packed audiences around the world heading into its sixth weekend in release speaks to the quality of the film and the excitement audiences have for the story,” Goldstein and Cripps said in a joint statement. “We are so pleased to give them a chance to see ‘Barbie,’ whether for the first or fifth time, in such an experiential format as Imax.”
After just over a month in theaters, “Barbie” has emerged as the box office juggernaut of the summer, with ticket sales currently totaling $572 million in North America and $1.3 billion worldwide. What’s especially remarkable about the Warner Bros. release’s theatrical fortunes is that the film initially lost out on premium large formats, such as Imax, to Universal’s “Oppenheimer,” the epic-length biopic from director Christopher Nolan that released on the same date. Ergo, “Barbie” was not able to take advantage of the premium ticket pricing for these auditoriums; even without them, the film is pacing to overtake “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($1.359 billion globally) to become the highest-grossing release of 2023.
“For all of us in the exhibition community, it’s been exciting to watch an original film like ‘Barbie’ become an unparalleled critical and commercial success this summer,” Richard Gelfond, CEO of Imax Corporation, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Greta and her filmmaking team and our friends at Warner Bros. to deliver this special edition of ‘Barbie’ with never-before-seen footage exclusively to Imax audiences around the world.”
Gerwig, the Oscar-nominated director behind “Lady Bird” and “Little Women,” co-wrote the screenplay with her partner, Noah Baumbach. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling star as Barbie and Ken, who depart the Dreamhouse for an odyssey through the real world.
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