April 18, 2024

‘Barbenheimer’ Rekindles Debate About The Rights And Wrongs Of Taking Pictures In The Cinema

The Barbie-Oppenheimer ‘Barbenheimer’ cultural phenomenon has taken the internet by storm, but has sparked a lot of discourse about cinema etiquette, especially when it comes to taking photos at screenings.

The double opening of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer on July 21 prompted people to buy tickets for both films to watch as a double feature, breaking box office records and sparking a blockbuster weekend for cinema in the process. However, some people did not escape the two performances unscathed as cinemagoers took to social media to share their personal experiences.

Outside of the talk of Barbie’s inevitable end and Oppenheimer’s historical accuracy, one of the biggest talking points of this summer’s double bill was unlikely to come from audience behavior, which reignited a debate about the rights and wrongs of viewers using phones in the cinema.

With the various social networks full of photos and videos from the Barbie and Oppenheimer shows around the world, people on Twitter (now called X) expressed their opinion on whether or not phones should be allowed inside movie theaters to capture a jump or shoot a reel to share online.

The vast majority of people argued that it is insensitive to other members of the audience to use a phone, and that it is not necessary, with many calling out the so-called “TikTok generation” because they would not be able to go through the entire runtime of a movie without using an electronic device. Others, however, saw no harm in the behavior and felt that people were trying to police a situation that did not need attention.

Movie theater patrons may not agree on the subject, but there are some positives coming out of the Barbie and Oppenheimer screenings. In fact, Christopher Nolan told IGN in a recent interview that he’s sure Barbenheimer will do great things for the cinematic experience, and Cillian Murphy agreed.

“Summer, in a healthy market, is always crowded, and we’ve been doing this for a long time,” Nolan told IGN when asked about sharing a release date with Barbie. “I think for those of us who are interested in movies, we’ve been waiting a lot to have a crowded market again, and now it’s here, and that’s great.”

The two blockbusters are in completely different zones of the cinema, but their release on the same day has linked them forever, with box office analysts teasing the genius of Hollywood executives behind this specific case of anti-registration. Barbie herself landed the best opening day for the domestic box office in 2023.

What is your cinema etiquette? Let us know in the comments!

Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance entertainment writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

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