In the massive movie weekend of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” there were many winners. One of the most important in the movie-going monsoon of “Barbenheimer” was originality. “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” became a meme because of their worlds-apart differences but they’re each indelibly the work of those filmmakers.

“Barbie,” based on the Mattel doll, had some extremely well-known intellectual property going for it. And the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the atomic bomb comes from no small moment in history.

But Hollywood’s biggest zeitgeist in years was propelled by a pair of movies without a roman numeral, a Jedi or a superhero in sight. The movie business may be shifting. Audiences are showing a renewed taste for something fresh.

The numbers are eye-popping. The total box office in U.S. and Canadian theaters this past weekend was more than $300 million, the fourth highest ever. Warner Bros.’

“Barbie” grossed $162 million domestically, the best opening of the year. Universal’s “Oppenheimer” took in $82.4 million. Those results, riding critical acclaim and months of a viral double-feature drum beat, nearly doubled expectations and astonished Hollywood.

Many are hoping Hollywood will draw a lesson other than greenlighting more toy adaptations and the inevitable “Barbie” sequel. Lately, some of the movies’ biggest franchises have shown signs of wear and tear.

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” coming 42 years after “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” failed to ignite in theaters. It’s made $335 million worldwide with a budget more than double that of “Barbie,” which cost $145 million.

The 10th “Fast and the Furious” movie, “Fast X,” was a dud domestically, though international sales have been robust. In three days, “Barbie” already surpassed its total North American haul of $145.9 million.

The seventh “Mission: Impossible” film, “Dead Reckoning Part One,” fell shy of expectations before getting blown away by “Barbenheimer.” It declined 64% in its second weekend.

What else is working? Movies that appeal to audiences that have historically been underserved. “Sound of Freedom,” from the faith-based distributor Angel Studios, has made $124 million in three weeks — though its distributor is using an unusual “Pay it Forward” purchasing program.

-The Associated Press

Use our search bar to find listings of businesses near you.

Looking for a local event near you? We got you!

Discover Events in Prescott

We're here to help you book an event, buy ticket online or make a reservation.