- A series of memes like “Barbenheimer” and “Gentleminions” have gone to the movies a bit.
- Movie theaters are struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Memes that encourage people to go see movies in theaters can provide a boost.
The pandemic destroyed movie theaters, but now blockbuster memes are bringing people back.
Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” open this weekend. The two films were not intended to be a double feature – but as an example of programming “Barbenheimer” turned into the biggest film event of the summer.
“Barbenheimer” is just the latest case to turn the physical act of going to the movies into a meme. In 2022, people were dressing up in their best suits to go see “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” inspired by a TikTok trend called “Gentleminions.” And there are other viral videos of people making fun of showing movies like ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ while fully clothed, but theater attendants can’t ask what movie they’re seeing.
The Pandemic put theaters in dire straitsand a Gallup poll they revealed that Americans watched a historically low average of 1.4 movies in theaters in 2021And while blockbuster, star-driven movies like “Top Gun: Maverick” can bring audiences back to theaters (and get Steven Spielberg to tell Tom Cruise that he “saved Hollywood’s ass” in the process), memes can be based on hitting theaters. definitely help as well.
“Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” are predicted to open to $100 and $50 million, respectively. according to the New York Times. And Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice Pro, the Los Angeles Times said yest the “Gentleminions” trend. an example of the positive impact media trends can have on a film (“The Rise of Gru” was the 5th highest grossing film of 2022 worldwide).
Among many smaller trends, there is a larger meta one. The simple act of going to the movies has become somewhat silly and over-hyped – and it’s one that can continue to get bottoms in the seats.