Barbie and Oppenheimer break summer weekend record in Turkey’s box office

Summer blockbusters Barbie and Oppenheimer dominated the weekend in Turkey as both movies attracted almost 850,000 moviegoers to the theaters in the country. This figure was the highest-attended weekend of 2023 as "Barbenheimer" broke the box office record for all summer weekends in Turkey.

Duvar English

With the release of Greta Gerwig’s "Barbie" and Christopher Nolan’s "Oppenheimer" on the same weekend, movie theaters in Turkey, as in the rest of the world, attracted great interest between July 22 and 23, according to reporting of Box Office Türkiye.

Barbie led the weekend with 397,000 viewers in its first weekend, the third-best opening performance of the year and the 18th-best opening of all time among foreign films.

Oppenheimer, on the other hand, was by far the director's best opening film in Turkey with 360,000 viewers. 

In total, nearly 850,000 people went to the cinemas, making it the highest-attended weekend of 2023 so far and breaking the summer weekend record for total audience for all time. 

While Barbie's total gross was 41.7 million Turkish liras ($1.54M), Oppenheimer grossed 40.4 million liras ($1.49M).

After the release date of both movies (July 21) overlapped on the same day, a phenomena named "Barbenheimer" created by social media users as a meme.

The famous Barbie toys inspired Gerwig’s movie as it narrates the story of Barbie’s travels from Barbieland to the real world (Los Angeles) after realization of her “imperfection.” 

Drawing from the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, an eminent American theoretical physicist, Nolan’s movie delves into his invention of the atomic bomb and the far-reaching consequences resulting from the development of this deadly device. 

While the number of independent cinemas in Turkey is decreasing day by day, ticket prices in chain movie theaters located in shopping malls are as high as 120-150 liras. Within the last 12 months, 85.3% of Turks aged 15 and over have not gone to the cinema, according to a survey conducted by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).