David Herrin from The Quorum, on the latest episode of Matt Belloni’s podcast The Town, shed light on some information about Barbie’s audience demographics. A staggering 20% of Barbie’s U.S. audience are people who can’t recall the last time they stepped into a movie theatre.
These findings are intriguing and suggest an untapped audience group for Barbie, which could hold great potential for the toy-turned-movie franchise. The fact that this significant chunk of Barbie’s audience hasn’t frequented cinemas recently might indicate the franchise’s ability to appeal to a broader range of viewers, beyond the conventional movie-going demographic.
In the same podcast episode, Herrin offered further insight on the potential impact of reviews on the box office. According to him, if the Barbie movie reviews were overwhelmingly positive – which, to date, they are – this could potentially add an estimated 20 million to the box office.
On the contrary, if the reviews were to turn sour, this might potentially chip off 10 million from the projected 120-130 million opening.
The speculation around the box office earnings between Herrin and Belloni presented varying predictions, with Herrin guessing a 180 million three-day opening, while Belloni chose a more conservative estimate of 150 million.
It is worth noting that this analysis echoes previous observations about the blockbuster movie Avatar, which also resonated with the infrequent movie-going demographic. The strong reception of Barbie, much like Avatar, could potentially lead to it making “Avatar money,” as some are predicting.
With such momentum, it’s not hard to imagine theatres clearing their schedules to give more screen time to Barbie. At a local theatre, for example, Barbie is getting as many as 30 showings a day – a staggering number when compared to even some of the biggest films like Avatar or Top Gun, which peaked at around 20 showings. Other films are also feeling the heat, with many having only one or two showings a day.
The exception seems to be for titles like “MI:DR,” “Sound of Freedom,” and “Oppenheimer,” which still maintain multiple screens. Still, the overwhelming favor for Barbie represents a shift in theatre scheduling dynamics and speaks volumes about the film’s popularity.