Barbie is enjoying global popularity, but not in South Korea.
On July 25th, the Korean Film Council reported that Barbie drew in 26,153 viewers at the Korean box office on the 24th. It has recorded a cumulative audience of 283,021 people.
The movie failed to create a buzz, even when its cast members – Margot Robbie, Greta Gerwig, and America Ferrera – visited the country to promote their upcoming movie ahead of its Korean release. Unfortunately, its failure continued as it narrowly exceeded 200,000 viewers, despite opening in Korean theaters a day earlier than Detective Conan: Black Iron Submarine.
Some say that the movie failed to win the hearts of both male and female audiences. Barbie drew complaints from male viewers as it revolves around a fashion doll manufactured in 1959 while criticizing the patriarchal and male-dominated aspects of society. Furthermore, the movie fueled gender wars between viewers when female audiences raised their voices against some male audiences describing the movie as “female-chauvinistic.”
In fact, male audiences gave Barbie an average viewer rating of 5.99 points out of 10 on Naver, as opposed to their female counterparts’ 9.38 points. The movie has an 81 percent rating among females and a 19 percent rating among males on CGV, making it the most gender-divided film compared to any other Korean films currently being screened.