Actor and comedian Randall Park criticized Hollywood for drawing the wrong conclusions from a major hit like Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” in a recent interview with Rolling Stone to promote his directing effort “Shortcomings.” The Margot Robbie-starring comedy made over $1 billion at the global box office, but according to Park, the industry shouldn’t learn from it by making more films about toys.
“I feel like, just in general, this industry is taking the wrong lessons,” Park said. “For example, ‘Barbie’ is this massive blockbuster, and the idea is: Make more movies about toys! No. Make more movies by and about women!” The interviewer added their remarks, saying, “The lesson here should be that you gave this brilliant independent woman filmmaker in Greta Gerwig the reins to a big blockbuster movie and had Margot Robbie star in and produce it.”
“Exactly!” Park nodded in agreement. “Think like that. It’s Greta Gerwig!”
Mattel Films is trying to utilize the success of the Barbie movie to kickstart its cinematic ambitions, Variety reported shortly after “Barbie” shocked the industry with a record-breaking $163 million opening. 14 films based on Mattel toys and other franchises are currently in production at the company, including works for Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket, American Girl, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Magic 8 Ball, UNO, and Matchbox.
Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz said, “Barbie, as a brand, has many different iterations. The product lines of Barbie is a very broad brand. In addition to the main Barbie figure, she has family, she has a lot of elements around in her universe. It’s a very rich universe… It’s a very broad and very elastic brand, in terms of opportunities.”
He continued by saying, “At the outset, we’re not saying, ‘Okay, let’s think already about movie two and three.’ Let’s get the first one right and make that a success. And if you do that, opportunities open up very quickly, once you establish the first movie as a successful representation of a franchise on the big screen. Successful movies lend themselves to more movies. Our ambition is to create film franchises.”