Margot Robbie Told Studios in ‘Barbie’ Pitch Meetings That It Could ‘Make $1 Billion Dollars… Maybe I Was Overselling’

As a producer of “Barbie,” it was up to Margot Robbie to convince a studio that her vision for the film would lead to financial success. No wonder the Oscar nominee flat out said during pitch meetings that she believed a “Barbie” movie could bring in $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Such success depended on landing writer-director Greta Gerwig, Robbie stressed to execs.

“I think my pitch in the green-light meeting was the studios have prospered so much when they’re brave enough to pair a big idea with a visionary director,” Robbie said in an interview with Collider. “And then I gave a series of examples like, ‘dinosaurs and [Steven] Spielberg’ – pretty much naming anything that’s been incredible and made a ton of money for the studios over the years. And I was like, ‘And now you’ve got Barbie and Greta Gerwig.’ And I think I told them that it’d make a billion dollars, which maybe I was overselling, but we had a movie to make, okay?”

Whether “Barbie” makes $1 billion for Warner Bros. remains to be seen, but it’s already shaping up to be a blockbuster for the studio. The film is tracking for an opening weekend in the $95 million to $110 million range, with some exhibitors believing the comedy could make as much as $140 million in its debut. Warner Bros. is launching “Barbie” in 4,200 North American theaters over the weekend.

Gerwig signed on to direct “Barbie” and to co-write it with Noah Baumbach. The hire paid off for the film’s cast, especially Ryan Gosling.

“Greta, she’s just such a brilliant person and such an inclusive person,” Gosling told Collider. “She’s brilliant but incapable of being pretentious. I think what I admire so much about her work is that she doesn’t allow herself to create a divide between drama and comedy, and she encourages everyone around her to do the same. So you end up mining places that are in the in-between and it feels very specific to her, but also something that you can relate to because it’s more like life.”

“Barbie” opens nationwide on July 21.

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