They’re two highly-anticipated blockbusters hitting screens today – but apart from their shared release date, The Barbie Movie and Oppenheimer are worlds apart.
Starring Margot Robbie, 33, and Ryan Gosling, 42, Barbie follows the beloved children’s doll as she leaves Barbieland for the real world on a journey of self-discovery.
Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer – Cillian Murphy, 47 – theoretical physicist J. Tells the story of Robert Oppenheimer, also known as the ‘Father of the Atomic Bomb’.
As a result of their wildly different plots, fans are divided online on which film to watch first.
As such, many bought tickets for back-to-back viewings on the same day, resulting in an event that has been jokingly dubbed the ‘Barbenheimer’.
Margot Robbie stars as Barbie in the highly anticipated new movie which hits UK cinemas today
Cillian Murphy (pictured) stars in Christopher Nolan’s new film Oppenheimer. As Robert Oppenheimer
However, this is not the first time that two critically acclaimed but completely different films have been released on the same date – and Christopher Nolan fell victim to this in 2008 when promoting The Dark Knight.
Earlier this week, the Twitter user who runs the pop culture account @notgwendalupe shared unlikely movies from the past 20 years that film buffs didn’t realize were on the same day.
There’s something about Mary and Zoro’s mask
On 17 July 1998, the rom-com There’s Something About Mary and the action film The Mask of Zorro battled it out at the box office.
There’s Something About Mary Cameron Diaz plays a woman who drives men to extreme lengths to date her.
The film begins with Ted Strohmann (played by Ben Stiller) hiring a private investigator Pat Healy (played by Matt Dillon) to track down his prom date.
But after a few days of observing the Miami-based surgeon, Pat also falls madly in love with Mary.
Although the rom-com only had a $23m budget, it became an unexpected smash hit and grossed over $369m worldwide.
American actress Cameron Diaz starred in the 1998 romantic comedy Something About Mary
Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones both starred in the 1998 movie The Mask of Zorro – which was released on the same day as Mary
By comparison, The Mask of Zorro cost Sony Pictures $95 million and grossed $250 million.
The action film stars Antonio Banderas as Zorro – a young thief who is desperate to avenge his brother’s death and is trained by Don Diego de la Vega (played by Anthony Hopkins).
10 Things I Hate About You and The Matrix
On March 31, 1999, the hit rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You with The Matrix was released.
The romantic drama – starring the late Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt – was a modernization of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
Image: Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles star in the 1999 hit romantic comedy 10 Things I Hate About You
10 Things I Hate About You was released on the same day as the first Matrix movie, which hit screens in March 1999.
In the cult movie, popular high school student Bianca Strafford tells her father that she can only start dating when her outcast sister Kat is ready.
As a result, Bianca convinces a new love interest to convince school rebel Patrick Verona to take her sister.
The Seattle-based cult movie grossed $60 million at the box office and made the cast household names. In 2009, a television reboot starring Lindsay Shaw and Megan Martin aired on ABC Family.
The Matrix was also released in the US on the same day.
The epic two-hour action sci-fi film follows computer programmer Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) as he discovers the truth about the universe.
After being given a choice of a red or blue pill (which is mentioned in the movie Barbie), Neo learns that a war has begun between the machines and humanity – resulting in the human race being enslaved for their bioelectric power.
As such, the protagonist discovers that his entire life has taken place in a simulated reality.
The success of the movie led to the Wachowski siblings (then Larry and Andy, now Lana and Lily) filming two sequels simultaneously, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
The first movie grossed $460m at the box office and won four Academy Awards.
The Hot Chick and Star Trek: Nemesis
Photo of Rob Snyder and Anna Faris in the 2002 film Hot Chick, which was released on the same day as Star Trek: Nemesis
On 13 December 2002, both The Hot Chick and Star Trek: Nemesis hit screens in the United States.
The comedy – starring Rob Snyder and Rachel McAdams – follows mean girl Jessica Spencer who swaps bodies with a crook named Clive.
The film follows the pair as they desperately try to get their old lives back before Jessica’s prom.
In total, the teen comedy grossed $54.6m at the box office and launched the career of Rachel McAdams – the star would go on to appear in 2004’s Mean Girls.
What’s more, Star Trek: Nemesis – which was the final movie in The Next Generation franchise – was released on the same day as the comedy.
Pictured: Brent Spinner as Data, B4 in the movie Star Trek: Nemesis, released on December 13, 2002
The film opens with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) forced to divert the starship Enterprise for a peace treaty with the slave planet Remus.
While there, the team discovers that Shinzon (played by Tom Hardy) is a clone of Captain Picard and has a sinister mission to complete.
However, the sci-fi movie was considered a box office flop – grossing only $7m over its $60m budget.
The Lizzie McGuire movie and X2: X-Men United
On May 2, 2003, The Lizzie McGuire Movie and X-Men 2 hit US screens at the same time.
Image: Hilary Duff and Yanni Gelman both starred in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which was released on the same day as X2: X-Men United in May 2003.
Image: Halle Berry starred as Storm in the 2003 action movie X2: X-Men United, which grossed $407.7m worldwide.
The Lizzie McGuire Movie served as the finale to the hit Disney Channel series starring Hilary Duff in the title role.
The film followed the heroine – who is weeks away from starting high school – on a class trip to Rome, where she is mistaken for an Italian pop star.
While the film grossed $17.3m in its opening weekend, it grossed over $55.5m worldwide and won two Kids’ Choice Awards.
In contrast, X-Men 2 earned $85.6m in its opening before going on to a worldwide total of $407.7m.
The hit film – starring Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and Ian McKellen – follows Stryker (played by Brian Cox) as he launches an attack on Professor Xavier’s school to control Wolverine.
A Cinderella story and I, the robot
Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray starred in the 2004 rom-com Cinderella Story, which was released on the same day as I, Robot.
Pictured: Will Smith stars as Detective Dale Spooner, who investigates the apparent suicide of US Robotics founder Alfred Lanning in I, Robot
On 16 July 2004, A Cinderella Story landed in cinemas on the same day as I, Robot.
The noughties rom-com was a modern revival of the classic fairy tale starring Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray and Jennifer Coolidge.
Worldwide, it grossed a cool $70m – but was eclipsed by I, Robot’s $353m box office haul.
The sci-fi smash hit – which had a budget of $120m – stars Will Smith as detective Dale Spooner, who investigates the apparent suicide of US robotics founder Alfred Lanning.
He’s the man and V for Vendetta
Image: Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum both starred in the 2006 film She’s the Man, a modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
V for Vendetta – starring Hugo Weaving (pictured) and Natalie Portman – earned an astounding $134.7 million at the box office
On 17 March 2006, She’s the Man hit screens alongside V for Vendetta.
Like 10 Things I Hate About You, the romantic comedy was a modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
In the movie, Amanda Bynes plays Viola Hastings – a talented soccer player who is desperate to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels and poses as her brother in an attempt to make this dream come true.
The film – which also stars Channing Tatum – grossed $57.2 million at the worldwide box office
Meanwhile, V for Vendetta – starring Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman – grossed a staggering $134.7 million.
The film follows a vigilante named V who uses terrorist tactics to protest against the police state that the UK finds itself in after a world war.
Mamma Mia! & The Dark Knight
Image: Amanda Seyfried starred as Sophie in the 2008 hit movie Mamma Mia, which grossed $609m at the box office
Image: Heath Ledger played the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 smash hit The Dark Knight
On July 18, 2008, both Mamma Mia and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight were released in the United States.
The hit ABBA musical ran for nine years in London’s West End when it was turned into a film starring Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Dominic Cooper.
The story follows Sophie (played by Amanda Seyfried) as she tries to figure out which of her mother’s three boyfriends was her biological father before her marriage.
The ensemble movie proved a smash hit and grossed a staggering $609m at the box office – and the sequel Mamma Mia! Here we follow again in 2018.
However, The Dark Knight blew the musical out of the water and grossed $1 billion at the box office – making it the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time.
The critically acclaimed movie starred the late Heath Ledger as the Joker and Christian Bale as Batman.
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