ENTERTAINMENT

What is Barbenheimer trend? Yes, People Really Are Making Oppenheimer and Barbie a Double Feature.

This July, movie lovers are faced with a unique conundrum: choosing between two vastly different films, as Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer both make their theatrical debuts. While Barbie brings the iconic toy doll to life with a California-cool vibe, Oppenheimer delves into the complicated story of the controversial physicist behind the nuclear age. With an all-star cast led by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in Barbie and Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer, audiences will be treated to blockbuster entertainment. However, rather than settle for just one movie, fans are buzzing about the idea of ​​experiencing both films back-to-back, fueling the latest craze in filmmaking: Barbenheimer.

The Rise of Barbenheimer

Social media is abuzz with memes celebrating the prospect of a Barbenheimer double feature. Fans are enjoying the apparent contrast between the two films and highlighting the in-joke juxtaposition. The thousands of search results for “Barbenheimer t-shirts” and creative designs on platforms like Etsy testify to the growing excitement around this contrasting cinematic experience. Unprecedented fan-driven viral marketing has created a surge of anticipation ahead of the simultaneous release of Barbie and Oppenheimer on July 21.

Choosing the order

As movie lovers anxiously plan their Barbenheimer double-feature dates, the burning question remains: Which film should be seen first? The decision depends on personal preference and how one wants to navigate the thematic roller coaster. Should audiences start with Oppenheimer’s weightier themes and then delve into the whimsical world of Barbie? Or is it best to enjoy Barbie as a light-hearted appetizer before Oppenheimer plunges into deeper drama?

The Latest Craze in Moviegoing: Barbenheimer

Cillian Murphy as Robert J. Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer (2023) Photo: Universal Pictures

Memes celebrating the opportunity to do so have been spreading on social media, as fans excited by the idea of ​​an Oppenheimer/Barbie movie mash-up have begun to poke fun at the differences between the two films.

Searching online for “Barbenheimer T-shirt,” the paper notes, “turns up thousands of results, and sellers on Etsy have designed their own versions”—some of which sport sinister bubbly pink “Barbie” logos. A spreading mushroom cloud has been added to the imagination.

It’s the kind of fan-driven viral marketing that no studio can buy (or really even plan for), and it’s created a buzz ahead of the July 21 release of the two films. “They’re so different,” film industry analyst Robert Mitchell told the NYT, “that they allow for a narrative that unfolds organically: It will be the strangest double bill ever—an attention-stealing one.” The concept, he said, is a “pretty huge gift for distributors.”

MARGOT ROBBIE as Barbie in Barbie (2023) Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

 

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