“It may never happen again”: Margot Robbie and Cillian Murphy Reveal the Truth Behind Using Barbenheimer Phenomenon For Box Office Profit

Margot Robbie and Cillian Murphy talked about the Barbenheimer competition.

“It may never happen again”: Margot Robbie and Cillian Murphy Reveal the Truth Behind Using Barbenheimer Phenomenon For Box Office Profit


  • Margot Robbie revealed they did not force the competition between Barbie and Oppenheimer.
  • Cillian Murphy noted that people liked the variety of movies during the time both films were released.
  • Robbie admitted she refused moving Barbie's release date as per Oppenheimer producer's request.
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The moment fans created the Barbenheimer trend, pitting Margot Robbie’s movie against Cillian Murphy’s biopic film, signaled the return of the theater business after the pandemic. Even before their release, there had been a lot of buzz on social media on which franchise would dominate the box office.

Margot Robbie Barbie
Margot Robbie in Barbie

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie was a massive success, amassing over $1.4 billion in global ticket sales, but Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer grossing over $952 million is a major feat for an R-rated movie.

RELATED: “I can’t imagine what would be next”: Margot Robbie Breaks Silence on Barbie 2 as Mattel Aims to Start its Own MCU


Margot Robbie And Cillian Murphy Discuss The Hype Around Barbenheimer

During a conversation via Variety’s Actors on Actors, Margot Robbie and Cillian Murphy clarified that they did not perpetuate the competition between Barbie and Oppenheimer. The actress remarked that it was fans who started the phenomenon:

People are so clever. People kept asking me, “So is each marketing department talking to each other?” And I was like, “No, this is the world doing this! This is not a part of the marketing campaign.”

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

Murphy, on the other hand, noted that it was a great opportunity for the theater industry during the time they decided to release the movies because not only there was a bunch of diverse titles, but it was also summertime:

And I think it happened because both movies were good. In fact, that summer, there was a huge diversity of stuff in the cinema, and I think it just connected in a way that you or I or the studios or anybody could never have predicted.”

Robbie commented that no one can force or orchestrate that kind of event. The Inception actor agreed with her, and stated, “It may never happen again.”


RELATED: “A classic already”: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling Replace George Clooney In $1.4B Franchise Prequel

Margot Robbie Fought For Barbie’s Release Date

Margot Robbie admitted in the same interview via Variety that she refused to move her movie’s schedule as per request from an Oppenheimer producer. She revealed:

One of your producers, Chuck Roven, called me because we worked together on some other projects. And he was like, “I think you guys should move your date.” And I was like, “We’re not moving our date. If you’re scared to be up against us, then you move your date.” And he’s like, “We’re not moving our date. I just think it’d be better for you to move.” And I was like, “We’re not moving!” I think this is a really great pairing, actually. It’s a perfect double billing, Oppenheimer and Barbie.”


Cillian Murphy praised the actress for her instinct. Robbie noted that fans actually do like to experiment and try everything to see what suits their preference:


Clearly the world agreed. Thank God. The fact that people were going and being like, “Oh, watch Oppenheimer first, then Barbie.” I was like, “See? People like everything.” People are weird.”

Finally, the Peaky Blinders actor agreed that the event gave fans the option to choose which movie they liked best:

And they don’t like being told what to do. They will decide, and they will generate the interest themselves.”

Now that Robbie and Murphy have shed light on the Barbenheimer phenomenon, it only goes to show that no matter how much the studios try to arrange things between the two movies, the fans will still be the ones to decide on which film will top the box office.

RELATED: Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling’s Ocean’s Prequel Reportedly Directly Linked to George Clooney and Sandra Bullock to Keep Franchise Alive



Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 1912

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.