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The Surprising Summer Box Office of 2023

Barbie 2023

Well, who had this on their Bingo card?

Two of this summer's highest-grossing films are about a theoretical physicist and a doll known for her own shade of pink.

Not only that, an independent film about child trafficking ended up on the Top 20 list of box office sales.

We're used to larger-than-life blockbusters making handsome profits during the summer. For example, two of the top summer films in 2022 were Top Gun: Maverick and Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

The two biggest hits of the summer prior to that were Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

So why did "Barbenheimer" (Barbie + Oppenheimer) become such a phenomenon this summer?

Michael O’Leary, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) in the U.S. offered this explanation to the website Rappler:

“People recognized that something special was going on at the cinema and they wanted to be a part of it," he said. "The two films couldn’t be more different in tone but what they do have in common is a commitment to the craft of filmmaking, with images and stories that need to be experienced on the big screen with a big audience.”

It seems audiences at the Jewel Theatre agree with O'Leary. Over the past couple of months, there were many post-movie discussions amongst theatre-goers here in the Jewel lobby, ranging from philosophy to the aftermath of war to personal experiences with trauma.

Two of this summer's notable films, Barbie and Sound of Freedom, will return to the Jewel September 1-7. Check for showtimes.

See you at the movies!


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