Barbie vs. Oppenheimer: Which Will Prevail in NY?

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The most entertaining summer movie hit already might have opened with the latest “Mission: Impossible” movie, but July 21 looks to be a blockbuster battle between “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.” decided to take a break away from New York online casinos coverage to assess the interest in the highly publicized films.

We used Google Trends to calculate the relative search volume for the queries “Barbie movie” and “Oppenheimer movie” in each state. After completing the trends for the dates 7/1/2023 – 7/17/2023, we determined which film audiences in each state were most interested in seeing.

New York Barbie vs. Oppenheimer Search Volume

State Barbie Search Volume Oppenheimer Search Volume Winner
New York6514Barbie


The View from New York

New York is all over the two movies. Both leads were born in New York: Barbie on March 9, 1959 at the New York Toy Fair, to Ruth and Eliot Handler, co-founders of Mattel. Robert Oppenheimer entered the world he later almost blew up, on April 22, 1904, to Julius and Ella Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer also worked on “The Manhattan Project,” which began in Manhattan before moving to Los Alamos, New Mexico.

After their New York births, their lives diverged. Barbie is supposed to have attended high school in Willows, Wis., but most remember her as a quiet girl. Oppenheimer attended Harvard University, Christ’s College, and the University of Gottingen. Oppenheimer was the fourth husband of Kitty Puening, with whom he had two children. He also cheated on her. Barbie was loyal to Ken. They had no children.

But enough personal tale of the tape. Which “biopic” is going to be the bigger hit? According to research by – your source for NY online casino bonuses – it clearly is “Barbie.”

 “Barbie” is what Hollywood calls a potential four-quadrant film – appealing to grandparents, parents, teenagers and children. “Oppenheimer” is more for adults. The running time for “Barbie” is just under two hours. “Oppenheimer” is three hours. More showings for “Barbie.” “Barbie” is a colorful, fun, summer movie. “Oppenheimer” is about a guy who helped develop the atomic bomb.

But “Oppenheimer” has two things going for it, for box office wagerers. “Barbie” is already angering culture warriors who haven’t seen it. It also comes from art house favorite Greta Gerwig, whose “Lady Bird” did a robust $49 million at the U.S. box office in 2017. “Oppenheimer” director Christopher Nolan has made numerous films that grossed in the hundreds of millions. He has the better track record, but Gerwig never has had the opportunity to work with this massive a budget.

My prediction, having seen neither of them, is that “Barbie” has a bigger opening weekend, “Oppenheimer” has longer legs and that “Oppenheimer” picks up more Oscar nominations.


Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of