The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

A group of FCHS teachers dress up for the Sept. 6 Barbenheimer Day during Fall Spirit Week.
Photo Courtesy of Mandy Hoy
A group of FCHS teachers dress up for the Sept. 6 “Barbenheimer Day” during Fall Spirit Week.

Blame it on “Barbenheimer”

If you feel like you’ve been seeing more pink than usual, you have Barbenheimer to blame.

Barbenheimer, the name given to an Internet phenomenon that began on social media before the simultaneous theatrical release of the films Barbie and Oppenheimer on July 21, took the world by storm. Every minute, social media was flooding with new posters, art, trailers, and self-made-promotion of t-shirts of Oppenheimer printed in the Barbie font. While this was one of the most shared and popular topics over the past few months, was it really worth the hype?

Certainly, Barbenheimer appeared to be popular because they were releasing two expected blockbusters on the same day. But it may have also been due to the fact that director Christopher Nolan’s movie–about one of the smartest men in history (Robert Oppenheimer) who had created the greatest weapon in the world–was being pitted against a pop culture flick by director Greta Gerwig about a doll that has shaped many girls’ lives.

The debate about which movie would prevail at the box office became the topic of wild speculation. Fans on TikTok started to comment underneath ads for the movies quoting, “Barbie for the shock, Oppenheimer for the laughs.” While this whole thing started off as just a harmless meme, it quickly skyrocketed into something unexpected and extravagant.

It’s been quite some time since big blockbuster movies have driven so many people to the big screen, especially after the pause on theater attendance due to the pandemic. Seems like Avengers: Endgame in 2019 was the last time a movie was “hyped up” for theaters before everything shut down.

This started to change in 2022 when movie hype started to reemerge in the world of social media. Don’t Worry, Darling starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, and Babylon starring Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt, were two of the most anticipated films of 2022, but the fame for those two films died a quick death after lackluster reviews, with Don’t Worry, Darling making only $87 million at the box office, and Babylon making a mere $63 million.

Whether or not you paid much attention to all the Barbenheimer posts on Instagram and TikTok, you more than likely saw at least one of the movies. Many students at FCHS have their own opinions about Barbenheimer. “I was definitely more into Barbie then Oppenheimer. I did think the whole combining of both movies was cool though,” said sophomore Hayley Starky.

While some were digging the Barbenheimer vibe, others were not. “I wasn’t really into any of it. I thought it was really overhyped and kind of stupid,” said junior Lily Thompson.

Others found themselves totally into both. “I was definitely a fan of Barbie and Oppenheimer. Both were spectacular in theaters,” said senior Hadley Dyke.

One thing is for sure: Long after Barbie and Oppenheimer leave theaters, Barbenheimer will remain a culture phenomenon for the history books.

For more on the Barbie movie, read this review.

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