Barbie means a lot to us, said David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, during the company’s Q2 earnings call. He happily shared that this would be the first movie to make $1 billion while he’s in charge. To mark the movie’s success, he mentioned it will be available on the streaming service Max this coming fall.
But when it comes to how long the movie will be shown in theaters, they have a strong belief in giving it time. “We think it’s important to let the movie stay in theaters for a while and follow the traditional steps that have always worked in the industry,” he explained. “Once it’s available on Max, it will do well when autumn arrives.”
Also, it’s worth mentioning that Barbie is planned to be shown on airplanes starting this September, according to Deadline.
Since becoming the leader of Warner Bros. Discovery, Zaslav has been a strong supporter of keeping movies in theaters for a while, which is different from the previous Warner Bros. Media management. They caused some concerns by releasing movies on HBO Max at the same time as in theaters during the Covid pandemic.
Zaslav also talked about how he brought all the different parts of the company together to create “The Summer of Barbie.” This included a special Barbie show on HGTV that was watched by 4 million viewers and aired in 106 countries. There was also a Barbie special on the Food Network and a sneak peek during the NBA Finals on Turner Sports. This strategy is something Zaslav had successfully used before for shows like HBO’s “House of the Dragon” and “The Last of Us,” as well as the video game “Hogwarts Legacy.”
Our various platforms can make a big impact all around the world, he said recently.
It all begins with having really amazing content, he continued, giving credit to Margot Robbie and Barbie director Greta Gerwig for their extensive efforts to promote the movie worldwide.
Barbie is set to reach over $400 million in domestic box office earnings today, just in its 14th day of release. This achievement is faster than both “Top Gun: Maverick” and the “Super Mario Bros Movie,” which took 18 days to reach the same milestone. The Barbie film is projected to cross the $1 billion mark either on Sunday or Monday. According to sources, the total expected global earnings for the Barbie movie are around $1.3 billion.
Today during the conversation, Warner Bros. Discovery’s Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels mentioned that the benefits of Barbie’s success will become evident for the company during the third quarter.
On the other hand, the movie “The Flash” from DC had a 31-day period where it was shown in theaters before being available for rental or purchase at home. Unfortunately, it contributed to Warner Bros. Discovery’s not-so-great performance in the second quarter.
The idea and development of Barbie were approved and guided by the previous leadership of Warner Bros.’ motion picture division, which was led by Toby Emmerich and Courtenay Valenti.