The Licensing Power of Barbenheimer

Fans flock to see a double feature of “Oppenheimer” followed by “Barbie” (or vice-versa). Here’s how it could affect the licensing industry.
McKenna Morgan

July 21, 2023

Barbie Movie Product Collection, Mattel
"Barbie" Movie Product CollectionMattel


” has taken over the zeitgeist of summer 2023, and numerous licensing deals have followed. Its launch was highly anticipated, and it had a

licensed consumer product program to match



License Global has previously reported

, “Barbie” licensing deals are plentiful. From toys and collector’s dolls to costumes, beauty collaborations,




and more, Barbie is experiencing a renaissance in her 64-year reign as the must-have doll.

On the opposite end of the movie spectrum is “Oppenheimer,” a historical drama about the creator of the atomic bomb. You wouldn’t initially think to pair a film like this with the campy, fun-loving Barbie, but viewers are planning on it.

Cillian Murphy in “Oppenheimer.” Universal Pictures

Cillian Murphy in “Oppenheimer.” Universal Pictures

As of July 20, CNBC said more than 200,000 moviegoers booked a double feature for “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” and fans are creating their own merchandise to wear for the films (including a notable shirt saying, “I Survived Barbenheimer 2023”).

Given the nature and subject

matter of the “Oppenheimer” film, a cross-collaborative collection seems unlikely. However, licensing deals have begun to pop up for “Oppenheimer.”

License Global recently reported on a behind-the-scenes book to be published

from Insight Editions in October. If additional licensing deals are in the cards for this drama, expect items like this. The hype for “Oppenheimer” and for “Barbie” can be capitalized on, especially with the already millions of dollars each film has made in presales.

Where there is hype, there is licensing, but only time will tell how this space will develop. To stay up to date or to join the conversation, visit us on






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