Still shot of Barbie from the Barbie movie

Margot Robbie in Barbie

Jaap Buitendijk/© Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

This Barbie Made History

A doll that’s been around for more than 60 years took the world by storm this summer. Barbie hit theaters on July 21. In just 17 days, the film made $1 billion. Warner Bros. (the movie studio that made the film) said that no movie in its 100-year history earned so much so quickly. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was previously the fastest to make $1 billion. But that took 19 days.

Barbie also set another record. Greta Gerwig, the film’s co-writer and director, became the first woman to solo direct a movie that made $1 billion. 

Movie Magic

Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Greta Gerwig

Gerwig isn’t the first woman to direct a megahit. In 2017, Patty Jenkins directed Wonder Woman, which made more than $820 million at the box office. Two years later, director Anna Boden’s Captain Marvel broke the billion-dollar mark. But Boden worked on the film with a male co-director. 

In addition to Gerwig, only 28 people in the history of Hollywood have directed a movie on their own that has earned $1 billion. They were all men. Many people hope Gerwig’s entry into the billion-dollar club leads to more opportunities for women in the movie industry.

Gerwig says she’s grateful for Barbie’s big-screen success.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine something like this,” she told reporters at The New York Times.