BARBENHEIMER OPENING WEEKEND BOX OFFICE BOOM IN CONTEXT TO THE SAG-AFTRA STRIKE
While one could almost say that you’d have to be living under a rock to not know what Barbenheimer means, don’t feel bad if you have no clue what that means. But if you think about it briefly, you’ll realize that it can only be the name(s) representing the massive releases of two of this summer’s massive Hollywood movies: Barbie and Oppenheimer. These movies have gotten so much press, you’d have to be crushed to death under a rock to not have heard of either or both of them. And their initial box office success only highlights the rationale for the SAG-AFTRA strike.
BARBIE AND OPPENHEIMER FAST PROFITS DON’T COMPARE WELL TO LITERALLY STARVING ARTISTS
What is SAG-AFTRA? It is the labor unions representing “approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals.” You’ve probably just heard about it as the actors and writers who have gone on strike to get better pay and rights. And, well, they have cause for concern- beyond just trying to put bread on the table. And Barbenheimer is a success phenomenon in terms of money that has to be looked at to understand why the strike is happening.
BARBENHEIMER OPENING WEEKEND BOX OFFICE DRAW WAS OVER HALF A BILLION DOLLARS
The two Barbenheimer movies made box office release numbers on their respective opening weekends, taking in $511 million worldwide. While that scale of success is a huge jump above from the majority of most movies, tv shows (syndicated, streaming, etc), every successful production makes good (or REALLY good) profits that simply don’t end up going into the hungry pockets of performers and other workers. Most actors you would think of as being successful struggle to pay their rent and put food on the table. Really. Just google “residual check” and choose the news tab and you’ll be pretty much shocked.
Meanwhile, keep watching the box office success(es) of Barbenheimer and remember this context when you’re angry about your favorite shows being delayed by the strike.