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After film’s success Mattel has bigger plans for Barbie in Hollywood | Hollywood

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With the help of blockbuster Barbie, Mattel has officially entered the Hollywood league.

A screen grab showing Matthew Keith's collection of Barbies during an interview with Reuters in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 21, 2023. REUTERS TV/via REUTERS(REUTERS)
A screen grab showing Matthew Keith’s collection of Barbies during an interview with Reuters in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 21, 2023. REUTERS TV/via REUTERS(REUTERS)

Barbie opened with $155 million at the domestic box office, making it the highest grossing debut of 2023. It was also the largest opening weekend for a film directed by a woman, surpassing Captain Marvel’s$153.4 million. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer raked in $80.5 million. The film is raking in huge money and now its success has given the creators the confidence to set it in line with other big fantasy characters. Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most popular movie franchises. The first film, Iron Man (2008), earned $102 million on its opening weekend, worth nearly $145 million today. In 1997, Star Wars Ep IV: A New Hope, opened with $1.5 million which would be worth nearly $3 million today. Barbie wants to create a space of itself in this house of men.

According to box-office numbers, Barbie’s earnings are at par with some of the most successful movie franchises. Considering this, it is safe to assume that Barbie sequels will do equally well provided no drop in the content quality. Barbie made box office history which justifies Mattel’s ambitious future plans. Tt seems Mattel is on to something interesting with their Barbie film franchise and Mattel Cinematic Universe plans.

It was following declining toy sales, Mattel brought in a new CEO in 2018, Ynon Kreiz. He introduced his vision to turn the toy company into an IP-driven machine, resulting in a Mattel cinematic universe. Now, after the record-breaking success of Barbie, Mattel is ready to move on to other projects already in the works with various A-List partners.

Mattel has planned films for other children’s toys with 14 properties already in development. The list includes beloved characters from Barney, Polly Pocket, Thomas and Friends, and American Girl.

Mattel is also considering the possibility of a Barbie sequel. According to Variety, Mattel executives are hoping to turn Barbie: The Movie into a film franchise.

“Barbie, as a brand, has many different iterations. The product lines of Barbie is a very broad brand. In addition to the main Barbie figure, she has family, she has a lot of elements around in her universe,” Kreiz told Variety. “It’s a very rich universe… It’s a very broad and very elastic brand, in terms of opportunities.”

However, director Greta Gerwig said that, as of now, she is not thinking of a follow-up to the movie, saying, “At this moment, it’s all I’ve got.”

Yet Kriez added, “At the outset, we’re not saying, ‘Okay, let’s think already about movie two and three.’ Let’s get the first one right and make that a success. And if you do that, opportunities open up very quickly, once you establish the first movie as a successful representation of a franchise on the big screen.”

“Successful movies lend themselves to more movies,” the CEO added. “Our ambition is to create film franchises.”

Also Read | Cillian Murphy says he is open to playing Ken if there’s a Barbie sequel

Robbie Brenner is the Oscar-nominated producer who runs Mattel Films and produced “Barbie” and all developing Mattel film projects. He said that the company was hoping for Barbie to be a box-office success and pave the way for potential sequels.

“Everybody hopes that when you create a movie that there is going to be a franchise,” Brenner toldVariety. “That’s the hope — that it goes on and on and it’s a gift that keeps giving. But, in this day and age, you just want to get the first one right.”

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