Barbenheimer: A Woman Named Barbara Oppenheimer Weighs In

Barbara Oppenheimer is married to the son of J. Robert Oppenheimer's third cousin.

Last month, Barbie and Oppenheimer were both released in theaters on the same day. The films could not be more different, but that didn't stop moviegoers from leaning into the "Barbenheimer" experience. In fact, their opening weekend resulted in the most successful weekend at the box office since the pandemic began. Both movies are continuing to thrive in theaters, and it's likely the two films will be paired together for the rest of time. Funnily enough, there's a woman out in the world named Barbara Oppenheimer who was recently interviewed by Slate due to her name. She revealed, "My husband's father is third cousin to J. Robert [Oppenheimer]," so she does have a small connection to the Christopher Nolan-directed film. When asked if she was Team Barbie or Team Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer had trouble choosing.

"That would be really hard! They're so different," Oppenheimer said when asked which film she preferred. "I think of myself-though I'm sure I've fallen behind the times-as a feminist, because of the generation I came out of. So I was tickled pink, I might say, that they put Barbie in the Barbie world and then Barbie in the real world. I laughed out loud practically through the whole thing. Oppenheimer is more serious-not that feminism isn't. I do think there were some serious notes ... women today stand on the shoulders of their mothers, who lived the Barbie life." 

Oppenheimer also revealed there was a time when she went by "Barbie." She explained, "You know, I started as a Barbie, spelled just like Barbie. Because in those days, everyone wanted to be like Barbie. Then when I got to be 12, I changed it to Barby, with a Y, and then I became Barb. I grew up in Milwaukee, it was the Midwest-of course I was Barb. But then when I graduated and got my fellowship at Mass General, I went by Barbara. I was so professional and serious." 

She added, "I'm on vacation right now, and when I checked in at the hotel, I said, 'Barbie Oppenheimer!' The guy said, 'Are you pulling my leg?'" 

Will Barbie Beat The Super Mario Bros. Movie To Become 2023's Top-Grossing Film?

Barbie has been breaking box office records left and right, and it managed to earn $1 billion in only 17 days. Currently, its box office total is $1,295,201,000, making it the highest-grossing film directed solely by a woman and Warner Bros.'s highest-grossing movie domestically. However, there is one big milestone Barbie has yet to accomplish, and that's the title of the highest-grossing movie of 2023. Currently, the crown belongs to The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which earned $1,355,156,655.

According to Forbes, the final difference between The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Barbie will only come down to tens of millions "at most." Barbie raised its total to $1.26 billion this weekend which means it still needs to earn a little less than $100 million to dethrone the animated movie. 

While The Super Mario Bros. Movie is heading back to theaters for National Cinema DayBarbie is getting an IMAX release in September featuring new footage.