Barbie’s astounding success at the box office signals the start of an exciting new era for Mattel as the toy maker ventures into its cinematic universe, capitalizing on various toy-to-movie opportunities.
Following a pervasive global campaign that saturated the world in pink, the film, starring Ryan Gosling as Ken, and Margot Robbie as Barbie raked in a staggering $162 million in the U.S. on its opening weekend alone. When factoring in international earnings, the overall tally exceeded an impressive $356 million.
The comedy earning a spot among the top 10 highest-grossing movies in 2023 also marked a milestone for female directors. Greta Gerwig claimed the record for the largest opening weekend with her directorial work.
While the possibility of Barbie sequels remains uncertain, Mattel is now banking on the success of other famous toys turned into movies, including some unconventional choices. Notably, there’s an upcoming project featuring Polly Pocket, a comedy centered around the micro-doll, and starring Lily Collins, beloved for her role in Emily In Paris. The movie is written and directed by the talented Lena Dunham and is eagerly anticipated.
Mattel’s ambition doesn’t stop there. A surprising endeavor is in the works for Barney, the purple dinosaur, with Oscar-winning actor Daniel Kaluuya onboard as a producer. However, it’s not to be the wholesome viewing experience one might expect, as the film takes a surrealistic approach, delving into the Millennial angst of the property and targeting an adult audience.
The studio also caters to automotive enthusiasts with a film based on Hot Wheels, the immensely popular range of toy cars, motorcycles, and monster trucks. Produced by the renowned filmmaker J. J. Abrams, the movie is described as “grounded and gritty,” promising not just fun and excitement but also genuine emotion and stakes in its characters, making them relatable and engaging.
Overall, Mattel’s foray into cinema holds great promise, with a diverse lineup of toy-based movies that appeal to audiences, young and old, ushering in an era of creativity and imagination on the silver screen.