The Barbie & Oppenheimer box office showdown has taken off with $20M for Barbie and $9M for Oppenheimer on Thursday

The Barbie & Oppenheimer box office showdown has taken off with M for Barbie and M for Oppenheimer on Thursday

The much anticipated dual release of two highly buzzed-about films is here! Barbie is currently running the party, but Oppenheimer is also invited.

Movie fans rejoice! Barbie has arrived, as well as Oppenheimer, which is available in additional formats, including digital IMAX, 70mm IMAX and 70mm non-IMAX versions. Also, word of advice for those who are able to see the film in 70mm IMAX, the movie is said to start promptly at showtime without trailers due to the massive format. The dual release has become such a thing of note for the summer, given the anticipation and contrasting nature of the films, that AMC has reported at least 20,000 advanced ticket sales that sync up times for a double feature.

Deadline has now reported that numbers for the Thursday night previews are starting both films on a strong note, although predictably uneven. Barbie has a wider appeal and more of a curiosity behind it. And pre-sales are said to have come close to last year’s Avatar: The Way of Water. Thursday previews for the pink-centric film have amassed $20 million thanks to some chains additionally throwing “Barbie Blowout” parties in conjunction with its premiere on 3,400 screens. The total may fluctuate this morning, but comparatively, the film came ahead of a box office winner this past summer, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which brought in $17.5 million in early previews.

For Oppenheimer, while it has a lot of anticipatory elements of its own, has more of an uphill battle, especially opening across from Barbie. The drama is star-studded and comes from the popular cinema director Christopher Nolan, but it doesn’t lend itself to summer quite as much with a heavy subject, a three-hour runtime, and distributing an R rating, which limits audience demographic. It does not match Barbie‘s opening, but the Cillian Murphy drama opens Thursday with $9 million plus preview numbers. The weekend has just started and IMAX screenings are selling hot, although the extended length will hinder the amount of screenings that theaters will be able to squeeze in a day.

It should also be noted that Christopher Nolan’s stipulation for Universal when he left his long-time studio collaborator, Warner Bros., would be to keep his films playing at cinemas for a certain amount of time. This may extend the life of the movie as Warner Bros. had previously cut Tenet‘s run short by having the movie arrive on HBO Max sooner than expected, much to Nolan’s chagrin. There’s no word yet on if Warner plans to emigrate Barbie over after a small theatrical window, however, it will likely come out on top with this particular competition, although critics and audiences are currently taking well to both.