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    Barbie vs Oppenheimer: Both films exceed expectations as box office frontrunner emerges

    Barbie cast turn London Eye pink to celebrate film premiere

    Cinemas around the world are busier than ever thanks to the arrival of two films that have rapidly become blockbusters.

    Excitement for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has been in overdrive in the run-up to their simultaneous release, which has finally arrived.

    While Oppenheimer’s critical ratings have blown past Barbie with a near-perfect Rotten Tomato score, the latter, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is now expected to double the Cillian Murphy-starring biopic’s box office takings.

    However, both releases have shot past their expectations in a huge way, perhaps proving that audiences are tired of sequels and superhero films.

    Barbie was estimated to earn $110m at the US box office during opening weekend, with Oppenheimer‘s total was projected to sit around $50m. Impressively, Barbie is now on track to take $150m, with Nolan’s drama set to amass $75m.

    Speaking in a new interview with The Independent, Nolan described Oppenheimer as “the biggest film I’ve made”. Meanwhile, Murphy admitted to struggling to watch the film due to seeing his face projected on the screen, but acknowleged that the film is “designed” to be “watched with an audience”.

    Oppenheimer’s London premiere was cut short, however, as the cast left early in preparation for the SAG-AFTRA strike order, which was initiated hours after the event.


    Was Oppenheimer really the ‘father’ of the atomic bomb?

    “It is always too easy to fall for the great man – or great woman – theory of history,” Guy Walters writes in a long read for The Independent.

    “But the problem with the great man theory is that it seldom holds water, and nowhere is it more leaky than with Oppenheimer.

    “To regard him as the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ is to ignore not only that the Manhattan Project was the result of a historically unprecedented level of teamwork, but also those others who are equally deserving of atomic fatherhood status.”

    Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 22:30


    America Ferrera points out ‘revolutionary’ detail in Barbie Dreamhouse

    In a new interview for the Harper’s Bazaar UK Summer issue, Barbie star America Ferrera, 39, discussed Barbie’s progressive but “inelegant” history since its creation in 1959.

    Ferrera said that growing up, she was “never a Barbie girl” but there have been “revolutionary” moments in Barbie’s history when Mattel has made subversive statements about womanhood.

    Ferrera pointed out that there was no kitchen in the first Barbie Dreamhouse, which freed the doll from expectations of domesticity.

    Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 21:30


    Are Christopher Nolan’s films right-wing?

    That’s the question explored by my colleague Louis Chilton in his comment piece for The Independent.

    The 52-year-old filmmaker’s work has long prompted speculation over his political views, from the supposedly pro-conservative Dark Knight to the anti-war messaging of Tenet. Does his nuclear biopic Oppenheimer hold any answers?

    Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 19:30


    Barbie manufacturer accused of ‘stealth marketing’ in schools

    Mattel has sparked criticism for “stealth marketing” to children after a new programme gave away free Barbie dolls in schools, a move that health experts are claiming reinforces damaging gender stereotypes.

    The toy manufacturer launched the “Barbie School of Friendship” programme this year, in which free Barbie dolls were given to an estimated 150,000 students in 700 schools across the UK to teach social skills.

    However, in an investigative piece published in the British Medical Journal on 20 July, many experts have questioned the programme’s potential negative effects of gender stereotyping, as well as companies freely marketing their products in schools.

    Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 18:30


    Christopher Nolan says Oppenheimer is ‘the biggest film I’ve ever made’

    The Independent sat down with both Nolan and Cillan Murphy to discuss Oppenheimer.

    During the chat, Nolan discussed his new film as well as his directing future while Murphy admitted: “I love watching Christopher Nolan’s films when I’m not in them.

    Read the full interview here.

    Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 17:30


    Will ‘Oppenheimer’ be released in Japan?

    For obvious reasons, some fans are wondering whether Oppenheimer will have a theatrical release in Japan.

    The Independent understands that plans for the film’s release have not yet been finalised in all markets. Japan also tends to release later than other markets with Barbie coming out on 11 August there.

    Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 16:30


    ‘Oppenheimer’ technical faults hit cinemas

    Christopher Nolan has made it very clear his preferred way to watch Oppeheimer is in IMAX 70mm.

    In fact, the film is the longest one to ever be projected in this format.

    Due to the fragile nature of projecting in 70mm, though, many cinemagoers around the world have been experiencing faults – one of which may or may not have been a nod to Barbenheimer.

    Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 15:30


    Barbie’s fun cameo

    In the run-up to Barbie, film fans were left confused after seeing Rob Brydon at the UK premiere.

    The Gavin & Stacey comedy star then wrote on Twitter that he had small role in the film – and sure enough, he’s there!

    Many are lovingly calling his sudden, and brief, appearance in the film as a “jump scare”.

    Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 15:00


    Our verdict on ‘Barbie’

    Greta Gerwig’s Barbie gets the five-star treatment from our film critic Clarisse Loughrey:

    Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 14:30


    Matt Damon and Emily Blunt have admitted to finding co-star Cillian Murphy’s blue eyes to be a “real problem” on the set of Oppenheimer.

    “It’s a real problem when you’re doing scene work with Cillian,” Damon agreed. “Sometimes you find yourself just swimming in his eyes.”

    Blunt compared Murphy’s eyes to Billie Eilish’s 2016 hit “Ocean Eyes”. “We just hum it all day,” she quipped.

    Jacob Stolworthy22 July 2023 14:02



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