Success of ‘Barbie’ film leads to major spike in the toy’s sales

The enormous success of the Barbie film has led to a major spike in sales for the toy for its manufacturer Mattel.

Greta Gerwig’s film was released in July this year, and has since become the highest grossing film ever directed by a solo female director and the highest grossing film ever released by Warner Bros., having brought in over $1.4 billion (£1.2 billion).

One knock-on effect has been that from July to September, as reported by the BBC, sales of Barbie toys increased by 16 per cent compared with the equivalent window in 2022, lifting the company to its first quarter of sales growth in a year.


“Our strategy is serving us well,” said Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz in a message to investors. “We are very well positioned competitively and expect a strong holiday season.”

Mattel had previously said that it hoped to receive a $125 million (£103 million) boost from the film, most of which has already been realised. According to The New York Times, Mattel earned five per cent of the film’s box office revenue, as well as a portion of the overall profits as a producer on the movie, and additional payments as owner of the Barbie IP.

As a result of the film’s success, Mattel is planning a slew of movie projects based on the company’s IP, including Polly Pocket by Lena Dunham, a Hot Wheels film from J.J. Abrams, and Barney starring Daniel Kaluuya.

The film, which stars Margot Robbie as the titular toy and Ryan Gosling as Ken, is currently the most successful film release of 2023. Barbie is also the most searched Halloween costume choice this year.

In a four-star film review, NME said: “For a movie that ostensibly exists to promote a doll, this is laudable. Now come on Barbie, let’s go party.”

Meanwhile, the three-star soundtrack review (executive produced by Mark Ronson) said that the soundtrack “is packed with a surprising diversity of sounds paying homage to the Mattel muse. The soundtrack has some wonderful highs and some miserable lows – but then again, it’s not all rosy in Barbie Land…”


The dual release of Barbie and Oppenheimer in July, popularly known as ‘Barbenheimer’, was lauded by legendary directors Francis Ford Coppola as “a victory for cinema” and by Martin Scorsese as “something special“. Recently, the film even inspired a brutally-honest SNL parody featuring Pete Davidson as Ken.