It's a Barbie world, and we're all just Barbie girls, you know?
Well, that's what Sony and Mattel are hoping with their deal to make a Barbie franchise. Not just one movie, nope, but an entire franchise dedicated to the live-action adventures of the irrationally proportioned doll. To be fair, Barbie has had pretty much every job under the sun, traveled the world, and owned her own house and car for quite some time now, so the narrative possibilities are endless.
On the other hand, Mattel's sales of Barbie aren't looking so hot; the toy company made a pretty penny from "Frozen" tie-ins, but Barbie sales are down 14%. Will a Barbie movie lure in younger moviegoers and the adults who played with her back in the day? Do we really believe that Barbie has always been about "female empowerment," as per Deadline and the pitch that won over Mattel?
For now, we'll just have to wait and see what Barbie brings. Writer Jenny Bicks is already on board to pen the script; her credits include "Rio 2," "The Big C," "Sex and the City," and "What a Girl Wants," so she definitely knows how to go for the female audience. The question is whether or not that audience will bite.
"The LEGO Movie" has been a huge success, but not necessarily because of the toy tie-tin; remember how silly it sounded when it was first announced? If the movie is clever enough and fun enough to appeal to kids and their parents, a Barbie movie could take off despite the doll's increasing irrelevancy. On the other hand, Mattel's big-seller in the doll department are the creepy kids of Monster High. When can we get a movie about them?!
Photo by AP Photo/Alan Diaz