Barbie vs. Oppenheimer: Which Movie Is Most Searched?

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The most entertaining summer blockbuster might already have opened with the latest Mission: Impossible” movie, but July 21 looks to be a blockbuster battle between “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.” decided to venture away from coverage of sports betting and Pennsylvania online casinos long enough to see the interest in the highly publicized films.

We used Google Trends to calculate the relative search volume for the queries “Barbie movie” and “Oppenheimer movie” in each state. After completing the trends for the dates 7/1/2023 – 7/17/2023, we determined which film audiences in each state were most interested in seeing.

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Pennsylvania Barbie vs. Oppenheimer Search Volume

State Barbie Search Volume Oppenheimer Search Volume Winner


Barbie Runaway Search Winner in PA

According to research by – your home to Pennsylvania sports betting -  “Barbie” looks to have the bigger buzz among moviegoers, with Pennsylvanians more curious about it by around 6 to 1. But is that really surprising? One movie is about a doll, and the other is about a theoretical physicist.

Barbie – the doll – has been a pop culture staple for more than 60 years and been in Pennsylvania homes from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. The “Barbie” movie has appeal to grandparents, parents, teenagers and children. Most Pennsylvanians – heck, most Americans – have never heard of Robert Oppenheimer and couldn’t name a theoretical physicist if you spotted them the “Oppen” and the “Heimer.”

“Barbie” is also only two hours long, is bathed in bright colors, stars two sexy leads in Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling and moves to the sound of Dua Lipa. “Oppenheimer” is three hours long, is colored with dull earth tones, and moves to the sound of a Geiger counter.

For loyal Pennsylvanians, however, “Oppenheimer” was directed by Christopher Nolan, who shot “The Dark Knight” in Pittsburgh, and Nolan knows how to make a massive hit, even from a less-than-mainstream subject – see “Inception.” Additionally, “Barbie” is already angering culture warriors because of the different people playing different Barbies but will that make people more likely to see it or less.

My prediction, having seen neither of them, is that “Barbie” has a bigger opening weekend, “Oppenheimer” has longer legs and that “Oppenheimer” picks up more Oscar nominations.

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Howard Gensler

Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of

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