Only 29 men and one woman have ever been credited as the sole director of a billion-dollar film, and that woman is Greta Gerwig.
Warner Bros. predicts that Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” which she directed from a story she co-wrote with Noah Baumbach, will conclude the weekend with worldwide ticket sales of over $1 billion.
Barbie is based on the ubiquitous Mattel Barbie Doll.
Hollywood’s long-held belief that “girl” pictures have a restricted audience has been debunked by the film’s 17-day run in cinemas. But other movies, including “Wonder Woman,” which earned $823 million globally for Warner Bros. in 2017, “Captain Marvel,” which made $1.1 billion for Disney in 2019, and “Twilight,” which made $408 million for Lionsgate in 2008, have also debunked this theory.
Because there are so few women in executive positions at film studios, films that focus on women’s experiences have been neglected. Author of research on Hollywood casting practices Ana-Christina Ramón, has observed that males in such positions tend to rely on precedent and preconceived notions. The success of “Barbie” is the result of the combined efforts of many men and women.
Toby Emmerich, then chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, gave “Barbie” the go-ahead, and Joseph Goldstine, then president of Warner’s international movie marketing, supported the film with a resounding advertising campaign.
Producer and Mattel Films boss Robbie Brenner was among the several women who helped “Barbie” succeed against widespread criticism. One of the most pivotal figures was Courtenay Valenti, a former president of production at Warner who saw the film’s potential early on.
Gerwig’s standing as one of Hollywood’s up-and-coming “name” directors was solidified when “Barbie” became her career’s most incredible box office smash.
She has been nominated for three Academy Awards for her directing work on “Lady Bird” (2017) and “Little Women” (2019).