Barbenheimer. Counter programming at it’s finest. There’s never really been anything like this before. You see, the two biggest movies of the summer were actually released on the very same day! And both instantly did great.

Generally when two movies are released on the same day, one does well, and the other one suffers as a result. Everyone goes to see the first movie, and so there are few people left to see the other. But this time around, things were a little more interesting. The studios recognized how each movie played to such a different audience, that someone could essentially see both movies on the same day and get a completely different experience. It wasn’t so much this movie is good for kids while that movie is good for adults, but instead, both movies were for adults (Barbie also works for kids, but is definitely more on an adult level in terms of its jokes and understanding the meta ideas.)

Since both movies worked for adults, the question then became how to make the two movies work together. The idea was that people could actually see them both on the same day, or in the same weekend. One movie was serious and dramatic, the other was light-hearted and sort of a guilty pleasure film. It stands to reason then, that the best order to see these in would probably be Oppenheimer first and then Barbie afterwards,  as sort of the desert to the main course.

And now, since both of these movies have done so well, the question is what’s next? What does this mean and what will it lead to? I think it’s safe to say there will be more counter programing weekends like this. I think it’s safe to say there will be more title mashups for two movies on the same weekend, making going to the movies on that weekend into an event. Apparently there were lots of fan made Barbenheimer T Shirts going around. Wouldn’t it be cool if the next time, the studios made these shirts and gave them out to anyone who saw both movies on the same weekend? You would just have to show the two ticket stubs to prove the dates of seeing the movies. People would be all over that, wanting to be part of the event, just like they were this time around.

There were many movies this summer that did not do so well, (The Flash, Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1,) and were disappointments either regarding quality, box office, or both. Those movies were not part of this globally successful weekend. And so we really have to look at what happened with Barbenheimer and figure out how to do it again. It was, after all, the talk of the summer. Barbie has gone on to become the biggest hit of the year. And Oppenheimer has set a record as the most financially successful movie of all time to never reach the number one spot. These things are pretty amazing and a great sign of things to come in the future.