Barbie, the movie, not the doll, is well on its way to becoming the highest-grossing film of 2023, with more than $581 million at the domestic box office and nearly $1.3 billion worldwide (which puts it at number 20 all time). To mark the film’s success, both Warner Bros. and Imax said that the film will get a one-week Imax release starting on September 22.
Barbie lost out on an IMAX release due to Oppenheimer, but now it’s getting a special release with brand new post-credit footage in the prestige format.
According to Deadline, most of those screenings will take place in Northern America and a few select locations around the world. This is somewhat interesting; Nolan’s Oppenheimer was the one to receive an IMAX release upon Barbenheimer’s release, prompting many to wonder whether Barbie would receive the same treatment. Well, now it will, and according to both WB and IMAX, the new IMAX release will feature additional, never-before-seen post-credit footage personally selected by the film’s director.
Unfortunately, it’s still unclear how much new footage will be featured in the new cut of Barbie, whether it will include a complete post-credit scene or just a collection of outtakes. It’s still an improvement, especially considering that the original cut didn’t have any post-credit scene and the fact that Gerwig personally selected the new content that was previously filmed but didn’t make the cut for the original release.
What’s even more interesting is that Barbie was shot using ARRI ALEXA 65 cameras, which can be used to make 2D IMAX movies. This means that the audiences are in for a true IMAX treat, not just a marketing gimmick that would end up playing a sub-par quality on giant IMAX screens. In fact, it’s not unusual for filmmakers to use IMAX-capable cameras to film movies that don’t get IMAX releases because the larger screen real estate allows for much easier post-production in terms of removing shakes or performing other edits without the loss of quality associated with smaller screens.
Barbie is currently the top-grossing domestic film of 2023, losing out worldwide to The Super Mario Bros. Movie by $155 million.
Barbie isn’t the first movie to head back to theaters for a repeat performance with added footage. 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home went back to theaters with a new post-credits scene and additional footage throughout the movie eight months after it was originally released. The same thing happened in 2022 with James Cameron’s Avatar from 2009, which added teaser footage that laid the foundation for the sequel, Avatar: The Way of the Water. The re-release of the original Avatar was also a genius business move, as it dethroned Avengers: Endgame.
These expansions are a good way for movie studios to invite repeat business, which makes these films interesting even to those who have seen the original releases. As things currently are, Barbie doesn’t need the extra business. The movie officially became the number one release in 2023 (thus far), surpassing The Super Mario Bros. Movie by approx. $7 million domestically.
Barbie joins Spider-Man: No Way Home and Avatar in receiving a re-release with additional footage.
Barbie is still $155 million behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie in terms of worldwide earnings, and the IMAX re-release is likely to bring in more cash, giving Mario a run for his money.