The Barbie movie has a star-studded cast, with a marketing campaign of 'This Barbie' introducing the ensemble. One thing Mattel forgot to mention is that this Barbie is helping independent Powys cinemas thrive, by increasing ticket sales and bringing new customers through the door.
Today, Friday the 21st of July, the much anticipated Barbie movie releases in cinemas around the world. Coming in at 1 hour and 54 minutes long, the plastic-fantastic film has scored an average of 89% on the movie rating website Rotten Tomatoes, with critics raving about the 'painfully funny' and 'immaculately crafted and surprising mainstream film in recent memory'.
The marketing budget for the movie is estimated to have had $100 million spent on it, with cities lighting up in pink in preparation for the event. The hype has built over the past few months, and independent Welsh cinemas in Powys are ready to open the doors for the big movie event of the year.
David Thacker is the owner of Regent Cinema in Newtown and has been overwhelmed with ticket sales. "Ticket sales have been amazing since we put them up. We are very close to selling out a number of shows already and the film isn't even out yet. I have had people calling asking about it as far back as April. And every call I have received in the last 2 weeks has all been "When is Barbie on?". All the Credit has to go to Warner Brothers for their advertising campaign during the build-up to this film. They have really knocked it out of the park with advertising. It's probably the best post-Covid, which is very refreshing to see."
The Barbie release has meant that people who may not have necessarily gone to independent cinemas are coming through the doors. "This is definitely a title for the more casual cinema-goers. For people who have not been to the cinema in a while or maybe haven't even been since before Covid. It's a bit like Mario or Top Gun Maverick. It's a recognisable IP that you don't have to be invested in a long series to understand what's going on and you can simply go watch it and be entertained which is what it's all about when it comes down to it."
It's been a welcome addition to the movie schedule at Regent Cinema, which is also showing Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible. It's meant that people can see that not only are you experiencing movie magic, but you are also getting a movie experience that helps save on spending. "I think the price of the bigger cinema chain has gotten a bit out of hand recently. A family ticket to Cineworld is £37 and food on top of that for a family of 4, you're looking at about £50 - £60. But people don't realise that sometimes there are cheaper options on the market. That's where we independents come in. Our family ticket is only £20 and we have a wide variety of food to suit all budgets. The screens, seats and sound are on par with the equipment Cineworld uses and at the end of the day you're watching the exact same film in comfort for half the price. Instead of your money going to shareholders, your money is going back into the local and wider community and continues to entertain people of all ages for years to come."
In Brecon, the Coliseum Cinema is excited to see Barbie on their screens. A spokesperson said, "It's very important to support local. We want to find any way we can to increase footfall to come to local cinemas and watch films here. We've had a tough time after Covid."
Barbie has increased ticket sales, with some people venturing to the 1930s-style cinema for the first time. "There's been a lot of excitement for Barbie and a lot of tickets sold, with people excited to watch it here. We hope more people continue to come through the doors and see what we have to offer."