The ‘Barbie’ movie lit the box office on fire this weekend, scooping in a whopping $155 million on its opening weekend. The bright-pink story of Mattel’s (MAT) – Get Free Report infamous fashion doll undergoing an existential crisis has come in as the fourth biggest movie premiere weekend of all time topped only by massive Disney (DIS) – Get Free Report Star Wars and Marvel franchise films.
But Barbie’s glowing success has come under fire from conservatives — quite literally. And in a move that’s starting to feel familiar, Ben Shapiro is urging folks to boycott the film and the doll by literally setting dolls on fire.
Shapiro isn’t the only conservative protesting the movie. Republican Florida congressman Matt Gaetz and his wife Ginger, Piers Morgan, and Elon Musk have all criticized the movie, echoing the sentiment of conservative talking head Jack Posobiec when he called the film a “man-hating woke propaganda fest.”
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The act of lighting Barbie afire may remind viewers of a similar “firing” a few months beforehand — Kid Rock firing a gun at several cases of Bud Light. The Bud Light controversy sent waves of “anti-woke” protests (and poor company responses) through multiple industries, and it looks like it’s not finished yet.
But it’s unlikely that Mattel and Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD) – Get Free Report will take the bait the way that Anheuser Busch and Target did. Both companies were heavily criticized for caving into right-wing pressure. Meanwhile, other companies that stood their ground came through similar proposed boycotts unscathed.
It’s unsurprising that conservative pundits didn’t like ‘Barbie’ — director Greta Gerwig is a renowned feminist filmmaker. But if calls for a boycott are being heard, it isn’t hurting ‘Barbie’s box office numbers.