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The 'Barbie' movie's success puts her among history's top-20 films

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

The "Barbie" movie is now one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. NPR crunched the numbers, and Neda Ulaby has the results.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: When the pink-clad audiences who've flocked to "Barbie" bought close to $1.3 billion worth of tickets, that put "Barbie" among the top 20 highest-grossing movies ever, not adjusted for inflation.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BARBIE")

AMERICA FERRERA: (As Gloria) Barbie in the real world. That's impossible.

ULABY: Nearly all of the other movies on that top 20 list are franchise-driven. They center the adventures of men, usually in combat.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "AVATAR")

MATT GERALD: (As Corporal Lyle Wainfleet) All right, ladies. Let's bring the pain.

ULABY: Two "Avatar" movies lead the top 20 list at No. 1 and No. 3. "Avenger" movies represent four of the top 20. The highest-grossing list also includes two "Jurassic World" films and two "Star Wars" movies.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI")

DAISY RIDLEY: (As Rey) I will finish what you started.

ULABY: At least "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" features a female character whose journey is central to the story. It's one of only three films in the top 20 that do so - the others, "Titanic" and "Frozen II." But when the movie "Barbie" entered the top 20, it knocked one of the only other female-centric movies out of the 20th position.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LET IT GO")

IDINA MENZEL: (As Elsa, singing) Let it go. Let it go. Can't hold it back anymore.

ULABY: Thanks to "Barbie," the animated princesses of the original "Frozen" have been demoted to No. 21.

Neda Ulaby, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DANCE THE NIGHT")

DUA LIPA: (Singing) Baby, you can find me under the lights, diamonds under my eyes. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.

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