Yesterday, I noticed my local thrift store’s staff picks were all pink pantsuits and dresses. It’s officially hot Barbie summer — and that’s by design.
In anticipation of Barbie’s July 21 theatrical debut, Mattel launched 100+ collabs with various brands, on which the toy company either receives a flat fee or a 5%-15% cut, per The Wall Street Journal.
- Fashion crossovers with Forever 21, PacSun, Hot Topic, and more — including for pets
- Barbie food: e.g., pop-up cafes, pasta, and glittery Pinkberry swirls (don’t worry, there’s also Barbie dental care)
- Video game controllers stored in plastic pink DreamHouses
- Airbnb even offered a stay at a real-life Barbie DreamHouse in Malibu
Meanwhile, the #barbiecore aesthetic is taking over social media with 508m+ hashtag views on TikTok.
Why is Mattel going so hard?
Thanks to IP licensing deals, Mattel saw a 20% increase in Q2 revenue, per The New York Times. Plus, movies can introduce new fans and reignite existing ones (see: rival Hasbro’s Dungeons & Dragons movie).
Mattel has 14 films planned, including a “Hot Wheels” flick — but of all Mattel’s brands, Barbie rules, making up roughly a third of profits in 2022.
This movie is looking like an absolute win, with an anticipated $100m domestic opening weekend box office, per Matt Belloni of Puck News (also the film’s budget, BTW).
Of course, Mattel didn’t spend that money — for the most part, Warner Bros. did. What Warner Bros. paid Mattel for the honor is unknown, but one analyst estimated $25m-$50m.
Boom: Even opening against Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has been a boon: 20k+ fans have already bought tickets for a five-hour double feature, per AMC Theaters exec Elizabeth Frank.
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less