Barbie has become a global phenomenon, with the movie smashing a whole slew of records: biggest opening weekend for a film directed by a woman, biggest opening for a movie that’s not a sequel or remake, biggest Monday for a Warner Bros. movie — the list goes on.
In Whitehorse, the film has been nothing short of a sensation and helped propel the Yukon Theatre to set some records of its own.
“It’s the most popular film that we’ve presented in the year-and-a-half that we’ve been operating the Yukon Theatre,” artistic director Andrew Connors of the Yukon Film Society, the group that runs the cinema, told the News.
“I would guess it’s probably been one of the better-attended films in Whitehorse in the last five years […] We’ve had sold-out screenings every day.”
In addition to being the best-performing film at the Yukon Theatre since the Yukon Film Society took over its operations in November of 2021, Barbie also helped propel the cinema to achieve its highest revenue haul in a single day during the same period.
On July 30, Barbie brought in roughly $3,900 over three screenings. Add this number to the $1,000 generated by showings of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and No Hard Feelings, and the approximately $2,500 made from concession sales, and you have yourself a record-setting day.
“That was a great day,” Connors said. He added that the revenue generated on July 30 might even be the highest in the theatre’s entire history. However, Connors doesn’t have the records of the previous operator, Landmark Cinemas, to verify this claim. He pointed to the higher ticket costs today as the reason for this speculation.
“I can’t remember the last time a movie generated that much buzz in town and lineups, like daily lineups, at either of the cinemas when [Landmark] were operating them.”
The film’s run at the theatre began on July 21 and has been extended by one week thanks to its wild popularity. Its final day in the Yukon Theatre is currently scheduled for Aug. 10, although there is a good chance it will screen again next month.
“So we’ve added another week, and I know that we’ll probably do another week with Barbie in September,” Connors said.
The first live-action film based on Mattel’s iconic fashion dolls, Barbie stars Margot Robbie as the namesake character alongside Ryan Gosling as Ken. The film, directed by Greta Gerwig, follows the duo as they travel from Barbie Land to the real world after Barbie experiences an existential crisis.
Barbie hit silver screens across Canada on July 21, the same day as Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated Oppenheimer. The shared release date has led to the term “Barbenheimer” circulating online, which describes seeing both films as a double feature.
Oppenheimer is finally arriving at the Yukon Theatre today, Aug. 4, meaning that Whitehorse residents keen on participating in the Barbenheimer phenomenon will be able to do so this weekend.
“They’ll be able to do it as a double feature on the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday. Because we have three screenings of Barbie and two screenings of Oppenheimer, there’ll be a way for people to mix and match whatever way they want.”
Contact Matthew Bossons at email@example.com