The far right is constantly warning that if you go woke, you’ll go broke. But when it comes to the new Barbie movie, they couldn’t be more wrong.
Barbie, which follows Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) as they leave Barbie Land to explore the real world, earned a whopping $162 million in its opening weekend, Variety reported Monday. This is the biggest opening weekend of the year, and the biggest opening weekend for a female director ever.
The film had already made $22.3 million at the domestic box office from Thursday previews, the biggest preview haul of the summer. It blew the previous record of $17.5 million (made by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in May) out of the water.
Barbie has consistently made double the take of Oppenheimer—which opened opposite it and spawned the “Barbenheimer” meme—which made $10.5 million in previews and $82.4 million over the whole weekend.
All of this success comes despite conservatives trying their absolute hardest to smear the film as propaganda, either woke or Chinese. Far-right activists Charlie Kirk and Ben Shapiro slammed the film for featuring a transgender actress and dismantling gender norms (Shapiro was roundly mocked online for his review).
Representative Matt Gaetz and his wife went to the movie premiere, after which Ginger Gaetz declared the film highly skippable because it “neglects to address any notion of faith or family” and features “disappointingly low [testosterone] from Ken.” Some film critics have branded Barbie “anti-man.”
Other Republican lawmakers waded in, insisting the movie shows Hollywood is just a tool of the Chinese Communist Party. In one scene in Barbie Land, a rough, hand-drawn map of the world can be seen in the background. The map includes the so-called nine-dash line, a much-disputed division of territory in the South China Sea.
China has used the nine-dash line to mark its controversial territorial claims in the South China Sea. Over the years, Beijing has tried to claim sovereignty over 90 percent of the region. Even though The Hague ruled in 2016 that China has no legal basis for its claims, the country has pressed on, building military installations on otherwise uninhabited islands in the sea. Republicans insisted that the shot was a clear indication that Barbie is just Communist propaganda.
But given Barbie’s explosive success just on opening weekend, it would seem all these far-right efforts simply are not Kenough.