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Actress Robbie (at the European premiere of "Barbie" in July): "We're not postponing!"

Photo: WIktor Szymanowicz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

It would be a worthy candidate for the word of the year – or at least for the neologism of the year: "Barbenheimer". Two feature films, each with large, but at least very different target groups on paper, caused a cinema boom in the summer of 2023.

The success of »Barbie« and »Oppenheimer« was also due to a special race between the two highly touted films: Who would be the bigger box office hit? The pink, feminist toy opera? Or the darkly historical nuclear epic?

However, the unlikely duel apparently did not trigger anticipation among all participants in the run-up. This was reported by »Barbie« lead actress Margot Robbie in a double interview with »Oppenheimer« title hero actor Cillian Murphy in »Variety« magazine.

In the interview, Cillian Murphy tells us that »Oppenheimer« director Christopher Nolan always schedules his film releases around July 21 out of superstition. His problem: Greta Gerwig's »Barbie« had the same release date. Margot Robbie, who not only plays the title character but is also co-producer of the film, told »Variety« that one of the »Oppenheimer« producers, Chuck Roven, called her – apparently out of fear of pink competition.

"We're not postponing!"

"I think you should postpone your launch date," Roven said. Robbie's reply: "We're not postponing our appointment. If you're afraid to fight us, postpone yours." He said: "We won't do that. I just think it would be better for you to postpone." Robbie: "We're not postponing!" It was the right instinct, in the end »Barbie« was able to win the duel clearly.

Nevertheless, Robbie was surprised that many people had watched both films back-to-back: "People like everything. People are strange." Her colleague Murphy believes that moviegoers are self-reliant above all: "They don't like to be told what to do. They want to decide for themselves," says the actor.