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'Barbie' sets even more records

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The pink queen of the box office is not showing signs of fatigue.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BARBIE")

WILL FERRELL: (As Mattel CEO) Get that Barbie.

KELLY: As NPR's Neda Ulaby tells us, "Barbie" is now the highest-grossing Warner Brothers movie in the studio's history.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: OK, so "Barbie" beat "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2")

RALPH FIENNES: (As Voldemort) Harry Potter...

ULABY: That had been Warner Bros.' highest grossing movie not adjusted for inflation.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2")

FIENNES: (As Voldemort) ...You have fought valiantly.

ULABY: To be clear, Warner Bros.' No. 2 movie was "Aquaman."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "AQUAMAN")

JULIE ANDREWS: (As Karathen) You thought yourself worthy. You thought yourself a king. You dishonor this place with your presence.

ULABY: "Aquaman" might have benefited from a few of the mermaids that are in the "Barbie" movie. "Aquaman" made $1.14 billion. "Barbie," in just a few months, has made millions more.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BARBIE WORLD")

NICKI MINAJ: (Rapping) I'm a Barbie girl, pink Barbie dreamhouse...

ULABY: Let's just look at a few of the records "Barbie" has broken so far. There are at least 17 of them...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BARBIE WORLD")

NICKI MINAJ: (Rapping) Yelling out, we ain't selling out. We got money, but we ain't lending out. We got...

ULABY: ...Biggest opening of 2023, biggest opening by a female director, highest opening for a non-sequel, biggest opening for stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling - they play Barbie and Ken...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BARBIE WORLD")

ICE SPICE: (Rapping) And I'm bad like the Barbie.

NICKI MINAJ: (Rapping) I'm a doll, but I still want to party.

ULABY: ...Biggest opening ever for a film based on a toy, highest grossing film directed by a woman.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BARBIE WORLD")

ICE SPICE: (Rapping) Like Jazzie.

NICKI MINAJ: (Rapping) Stacie.

ICE SPICE: (Rapping) Nicki. All of the Barbies is pretty.

NICKI MINAJ: (Rapping) Damn. All of the Barbies is bad, it girls, and we ain't playing tag...

ULABY: That long list does not count all the other little records like biggest opening for a movie without Imax. But wait - Imax is coming. "Barbie" gets a limited Imax release next month.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PINK")

LIZZO: (Singing) That's my Barbie. Go, Barbie. Go, Barbie. That's my Barbie. Ooh, ooh, ooh.

ULABY: This weekend, the great pink one is expected to pass "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" at the box office. That will make "Barbie" the highest-grossing movie of 2023 and the 15th biggest movie of all time. It might even be on track for the top 10. This is Barbie's world. We just live here.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DANCE THE NIGHT")

DUA LIPA: (Singing) Baby, you can find me under the lights.

ULABY: Neda Ulaby, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DANCE THE NIGHT")

DUA LIPA: (Singing) Turn the rhythm up, don't you want to just come along for the ride? Oh, my outfit so tight. You can see my heart beat tonight. I can take the heat, baby, best believe that's the moment I shine 'cause every romance shakes and it bends, don't give a damn. When the night's here, I don't do tears, baby, no chance. I could dance. I could dance. I could dance. Watch me dance, dance the night away... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.
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