What is "Barbenheimer" and how can you make the most of it?

barbenheimer cinema marathon

() — This weekend, the cinema belongs to dolls and doom.

It’s the movie hit of the summer: Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” a three-hour epic.”emotionally devastatinghit theaters this Thursday.

Aside from their prestigious creative teams, the films have little in common, but the most dedicated moviegoers will devote an entire day of their lives to both. (“Barbie” is from Warner Bros., which shares parent company Warner Bros. Discovery with .)

“Come on, Barbie; let’s testify before the US government.” – Oppenheimer to Barbie, probably.
Photo illustration: /Adobe Stock/Universal Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures

This is the double feature “Barbenheimer” that began, like most phenomena, as a meme. But as more people tweeted fan-made posters of Barbie of Margot Robbie smiling in front of a nuclear mushroom, spending a day at the movies started to sound like a good idea. (AMC said this week that 40,000 moviegoers had already bought tickets to see both films on the same day, double the number last week).

It’s a tactic some industry insiders are waiting that it can give cinema a much-needed boost after previous summer releases had less than stellar box office results. It’s also, perhaps, a necessity, as the Earth warms to record levels and people grow restless in the dangerous heat. But let’s leave the reflections about death and destruction the protagonists of both films.

Here’s the best way to enjoy the “Barbenheimer” double feature, from selecting screening times to filling the gap between the two films and navigating the wide range of emotions both films will elicit. Hint: save “Barbie” for last.

‘Barbenheimer’ 101

barbie oppenheimer

“Barbie” has great dance numbers. “Oppenheimer” has a big bomb. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Ready to spend about six hours at the movies? Know first what awaits you.

“Oppenheimer” is a harrowing portrait of a man whose brilliance wrought unprecedented destruction on the world. It’s also over three hours long, so it will require some mental and physical stamina from the viewer. It is rated R, though for nudity and language, not for violence.

“Barbie,” ostensibly a comedy, is a little more mysterious: the trailers are careful not to give away plot details, like how Barbie ends up in the real world and how Ken regains his passion for life, but Gerwig and his cast have led to various reactions, such as crying, laughing and crying with laughter. In addition, it lasts less than two hours and is for children under 13, so you will surely have advances.

Take what is necessary

Whether you bring a pillow and a blanket to be as comfortable as possible or order the biggest popcorn they sell at the cinema, it comes with everything you need to enjoy your double feature to the fullest.

Start by choosing the perfect cinema. Do you prefer cinemas with seats that recline so much that they are practically horizontal? Or if there’s an independent theater nearby, consider spending the day there to support it.

Snacks are, without a doubt, essential. Some cinemas search bags upon entry to make sure you don’t bring in foreign food. Others don’t. Bring what you need, and if you’re shopping at the movies, get there early so you don’t miss out on upcoming shows (and, on AMC, the Nicole Kidman monologue).

Many theaters are fine with viewers bringing blankets or other comfortable accessories; this writer has seen several viewers sit in their seats with pillows and Squishmallows. (There’s no need to worry about falling asleep midway through the movie: “Oppenheimer’s” sound design won’t allow for that, especially if viewers are watching it in IMAX, as Nolan intended.)

When it comes to clothing, breathable sweatpants are often the best option if you’re going to be sitting down for hours. They also serve to recover the popcorn and M&M’s that fall during the movie.

“Oppenheimer” goes first

cillian murphy oppenheimer

Cillian Murphy as “Oppenheimer”. Could your wide-brimmed hat inspire a new hat trend? Credit: Universal Pictures

Do yourself a favor and enjoy the most intense experience first so you don’t go home with the weight of the fate of humanity on your head. “Barbie” should be lighter, so think of it as saving dessert for after dinner. (Not that “Barbie” can’t also be a satisfying movie experience.)

Take heed Tom Cruise, last summer’s box office savior and champion of post-pandemic cinema. Says that he is going to see “Oppenheimer” first, on the Friday of its premiere, and “Barbie” “right after”, so that he can enjoy both in full rooms.

Time to time


Simu Liu, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in “Barbie.” Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

If you prefer to arrive at the theater during the day and leave in the dark, schedule “Oppenheimer” for the late afternoon, ending with “Barbie” at night. Although it is possible that, if you see an “Oppenheimer” matinee (tickets are usually cheaper), you can leave “Barbie” and get some sun if you also see the Gerwig comedy that afternoon.

And be sure to leave enough space between movies to reflect on what you saw, eat something, and walk around a bit so your body remembers it’s not asleep. (Some Twitter users joked that they had timed a strong drink between “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” to shake off the former’s existential dread before exploring the latter’s existential exploration.)

Maybe your local movie theater has an arcade or bar, like AMC’s MacGuffins Bar, which often has drinks based on the season’s greatest hits on its menu. If you have time to spare between the two, go through the first movie with your friends over a meal, or if you’re on your own, check out all the celebrity appearances who signed on for a one-liner role in Nolan’s epic.

Watch out for the bathroom break


An example of the government hearing Christopher Nolan will ask for if he finds out you left “Oppenheimer” to go to the bathroom. Credit: Universal Pictures

Hydration is essential, except when it comes to an epic three-hour movie. Neither “Barbie” nor “Oppenheimer” seem boring, so before both movies, go to the bathroom. This is especially important before “Oppenheimer” lest Nolan finds out that he came out of his movie to potty. The man takes movies seriously.

Go back to the bathroom between “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie”. Gerwig’s film is also the most suitable for an ICEE, so fill up your snacks and such.

Let it be a double summer

Nor does the double feature need to be “Barbenheimer.” There are plenty of movies to binge this summer: if you like tense moments, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” ends with a very juicy one, so it could go really well with “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part.” One”.

The R-rated sex comedies “No Hard Feelings” and “Joy Ride,” both starring women, would make a raunchy duo.

A case could even be made for pairing Disney’s remake of “The Haunted Mansion” with the meditative “Asteroid City” by Wes Anderson. Nothing goes better with prestige than the popcorn cinema.

Sample “Barbenheimer” itinerary

Wake up and get your supplies ready for the double feature (recommended: chocolate, loose sweatshirt, your furriest socks).

10:50: Arrive 10 minutes before you go in to see “Oppenheimer,” grab extra-large popcorn, and prepare for cinematic annihilation.
2:30 pm: meditate on “Oppenheimer,” be enraptured by Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh, seek out trips to New Mexico. He eats lunch and ponders the fate of the world.
4:00 p.m. Go see “Barbie,” preferably in something pink. Take the Ken of your life.
6:15 p.m.: walk out of the theater embracing your new “Kenergy”. Maybe you dare to dance.

Source link