July 21st is a big day. After all, it’s when Blur releases The Ballard of Darren, their first album in eight years. It’s also when the nation’s multiplexes premiere both Barbie and Oppenheimer — two very different movies that have become joined at the hip on social media. The unlikely duo have inspired tons of memes, as well as a burning question: Which one will moviegoers pick? Tom Cruise thinks you should see both. And apparently a ton of people are listening to him.
As per Variety, AMC Theatres, the world’s largest cinema change, is claiming that more than 20,000 Stubs members have already planned a double feature of the two on the same day. Which will they see first? The PG-13 take on a doll line that has inadvertently caused some international controversy? Or the grim, R-rated docudrama about the “father of the atom bomb” that improbably features “prolonged full nudity” from some of its stars?
Mind you, as Variety points out, AMC just saying they’ve sold over 20,000 double features without comparable data points doesn’t mean a whole lot. It sure sounds like a really big number, though, doesn’t it?
Variety also notes that, after all the hype, neither may win the July 21 box office weekend. That could wind up going to this weekend’s almost certain champ, a little movie called Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One. But again, even that film’s star is trying to marshal moviegoers to watch both possibly the pinkest movie ever made and a movie about the guy who sort of doomed humanity to a possible extinction. Movies are back, baby.