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Will ‘Barbie’ end Margot Robbie’s streak of flops?


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The brand new Warner Bros. film “Barbie” appears to be like poised to be one of many summer season’s huge field workplace hits. 

It’s obtained all the pieces going for it: A enjoyable and immediately recognizable model, intercourse enchantment and a inventive group of Hollywood darlings.

There’s been renewed curiosity within the beachy doll within the lead-up to the movie’s July 21 launch, with Mattel-backed pop-up cafes making information and pink “Barbiecore” trend changing into a respectable wardrobe development. 

The film is directed and co-written by the unbelievable Greta Gerwig (“Woman Fowl,” “Little Girls”) and has a stacked solid together with Ryan Gosling as Ken, Will Ferrell as a company CEO, Kate McKinnon from “SNL” as “Bizarre Barbie” and, in fact, Margot Robbie because the titular toy.

However, considerably surprisingly, it’s the ultimate identify on the aforementioned checklist that offers me essentially the most pause. Robbie, 32, is an exceptional actress surely, however she’s drawn to field workplace bombs like flies to rotting meat. 

Why would an actress with a lot talent and enchantment, as pure in status dramas as she is on the Met Gala, wrestle a lot to place butts in seats?

The reply is a mixture of things. A number of of Robbie’s largest roles got here in the course of the pandemic; the actress has typically latched onto flimsy franchises; and a few of her initiatives have been simply plain heinous.

For some time, although, Robbie was sitting fairly. “The Large Quick,” “The Wolf of Wall Avenue” and the primary “Suicide Squad” all have been widespread hits.

Then, issues went south proper after 2018’s “I, Tonya,” the Tonya Harding biopic that grossed a modest $53.9 million off an $11 million funds and earned Robbie a Greatest Actress Oscar nomination (she misplaced to Frances McDormand in “Three Billboards Outdoors Ebbing, Missouri”).

"Barbie," out July 23, could mark an end to actress Margot Robbie's long string of box-office flops.
“Barbie,” out July 23, may mark an finish to actress Margot Robbie’s lengthy string of box-office flops.

Robbie played Queen Elizabeth I in "Mary Queen of Scots," which underperformed at the worldwide box office.
Robbie performed Queen Elizabeth I in “Mary Queen of Scots,” which underperformed on the worldwide field workplace.
©Focus Options/courtesy Everett Acquire / Everett Assortment

Cue the Flop Parade. Her 2018 “Terminal,” a thriller starring Simon Pegg and Mike Myers, grossed an impossibly low $843,970. The true-life movie “Bombshell” that she co-starred in with Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron in 2019 obtained combined critiques and grossed solely $62 million of a $32 million funds earlier than advertising and marketing prices. And her 2018 go at enjoying Queen Elizabeth I, “Mary Queen of Scots,” made no waves both.

She additionally slumped in her more moderen DC Comics as Harley Quinn.

“Birds of Prey,” which was launched in February 2019, lost $50 to 100 million according to Variety. The feminine-led film with a largely feminine solid may’ve been a turn-off for superhero-loving audiences (although that didn’t damage DC’s “Marvel Lady”). Additionally, the movie was simply actually odd.

“The Suicide Squad” fared even worse, taking in a measly $168.5 million after its Aug. 2021 launch. Though brick-and-mortar theaters have been having problem re-opening then, Disney’s “Free Man” did double that enterprise the exact same month. Similar goes for Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” in September.

"Birds of Prey," the DC Comics movie in which Robbie was the lead, was a box office bomb.
“Birds of Prey,” the DC Comics film wherein Robbie was the lead, was a field workplace bomb.
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Assortment

But it surely was 2022 that was an actual shocker. Robbie starred in two “disasters,” as one Hollywood supply informed The Publish, that have been primed to be main Oscars gamers and — because of star wattage — anticipated to do respectable enterprise. 

The primary was “Amsterdam,” director David O. Russell’s unwieldy historical past piece a few little-known tried coup in opposition to the US authorities. The October drama starred Christian Bale, Chris Rock, Taylor Swift, Robert De Niro, John David Washington and a slew of different heavy hitters. But it surely was atrocious, grossed a paltry $32 million — dropping an estimated $100 million for twentieth Century Studios — and went completely un-nominated throughout award season.

A couple of months later got here an even-surer factor — “Babylon.” Robbie’s co-star was Brad Pitt, one of many few remaining A-list actors who can nonetheless, often, lure audiences to theaters on his fame alone. The director was Damien Chazelle, whose “La La Land” was a vital favourite ln 2016. And it was a lush, however seedy, backlot showbiz story (like Robbie’s one oasis of success, 2019’s “As soon as Upon a Time in Hollywood”). It crashed and burned, dropping an estimated $150 million. 

The actress had two prestige "disasters" in 2022: "Amsterdam" and "Babylon," seen above.
The actress had two status “disasters” in 2022: “Amsterdam” and “Babylon,” seen above.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Assortment

Can “Barbie” forestall Robbie from incomes that dreaded outdated business moniker “field workplace poison”?

The extremely anticipated flick, whose each trailer launch turns into a serious occasion and conjures up social media memes, ought to reverse course for Robbie. One producer stated the film was sure to be an unlimited success and is successfully “critic proof,” whether or not it’s finally good or dangerous.

Let’s hope so. As a result of, for now, she’s a Barbie lady in a flop world.


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