Move over, Fourth of July — the real summer holiday is fast approaching us. If you’re like me, you have been anticipating July 21 all throughout this year. In case you’re confused, July 21 marks the release date of two of the biggest summer blockbusters, Barbie and Oppenheimer. Whether you’re excited to see Barbie live out her existential crisis inside her massive Dreamhouse, or you’re interested in learning about physics history and seeing Cillian Murphy in a leading role, it’s clear that these two films have generated excitement to moviegoers around the world. The box office projections from ticket sales alone have confirmed that fans will be flocking to the movie theater, with Barbie projecting $70 to 80 million in ticket sales, with Oppenheimer at $40 million.
The anticipation has made the internet go into a frenzy celebrating what is to be the biggest movie event of the summer: Barbenheimer. With fan tweets, t-shirts, and even a crossover event (more on that later), Barbenheimer is destined to rule our July.
Fan tweets and memes generated anticipation for Barbenheimer.
The massive difference in plot of the two films has helped drive the excitement. Barbie and Oppenheimer are of course different tonally, with Barbie following a beloved Mattel toy and Oppenheimer following an important historical figure that turned the world upside down. The absurdity of the two films being played back to back on the same day is what drives fans to poke fun at the differences. It also helps that the two films are written and directed by Greta Gerwig and Christopher Nolan, two widely respected masters of their craft.
If you’ve logged onto social media, you’ve probably been bombarded with Barbie and Oppenheimer advertisements. Maybe you’ve made your own personal Barbie poster or have watched the Oppenheimer trailer multiple times. With Barbie’s bright neon colors (namely pink) and Oppenheimer’s darker color scheme, fans have been having a field day on Twitter posting black and pink items or locations and comparing them to the two films. I can’t lie, I will never get enough of these tweets.
Fans are also making Barbenheimer shirts and outfits.
At this point, the Barbie and Oppenheimer PR teams could probably take a break because the internet is truly doing their job. Since many fans are planning on doing a double feature of the two films on opening weekend, some have also been planning their outfits far in advance for this momentous occasion. Yes, I’m here to tell you that you can buy Barbenheimer shirts and merchandise. By using Barbie’s bright pink and white and Oppenheimer’s moody orange and black logos, you can purchase your double feature outfits and accessories. Some of the original shirts that went viral online include:
- This retro t-shirt created by Davebusterss on Etsy for $22+,
- TheGoodShirts’ Barbenheimer tee that comes in five colors for $27,
- This $16 Pink Floyd-inspired Barbenheimer t-shirt created by JustRalphy on Teepublic,
- Another $16 Barbie x Oppenheimer t-shirt created by velmorite,
- and Retro Travel Design’s Barbenheimer t-shirt for $22.
there’s already been a Barbenheimer crossover (sort of).
It’s no shock that the two films are aware of Barbenheimer. In fact, they’ve actually embraced it. During the Australia stop of the Barbie press tour, Margot Robbie and writer-director Greta Gerwig helped promote the summer blockbusters, inspired by Tom Cruise’s excitement over the two movies. The duo posed in front of three posters: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One, and of course, Oppenheimer.
And to make Barbenheimer fans even more excited, during the Australia press stop, Robbie signed a Barbenheimer shirt for a lucky fan who attended the premiere. Robbie signed the Barbie part of the shirt, and said that she hoped the fan also could meet Murphy to sign the Oppenheimer part of the shirt, further confirming that the Barbie cast loves Barbenheimer. And can you blame them? We love to see a crossover moment.