Mattel Aims for Barbie-Fueled Christmas Bonanza Following "Barbie" Movie Success
Mattel, inspired by the blockbuster triumph of the "Barbie" movie, is gearing up to make this year's Christmas a Barbie extravaganza.
The "Barbie" movie, directed by Greta Gerwig, achieved a monumental milestone with its record-breaking opening weekend in 2023, raking in $155 million domestically and a staggering $337 million globally.
Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz expressed that the movie was more than just a cinematic success, but a cultural phenomenon that brilliantly leveraged their brand like never before. As the movie's momentum continues to soar, captivating international audiences and even attracting male viewers, Mattel aims to extend the influence of the Barbie franchise far beyond the silver screen.
Central to Mattel's strategy is captivating consumers' imaginations with everything Barbie during the latter half of the year, particularly the crucial holiday shopping months of November and December, which are pivotal for the toy industry.
In line with this vision, Mattel unveiled a new range of toys tied to the "Barbie" movie on June 1, featuring Barbie and Ken dolls based on characters from the film, as well as a toy replica of Barbie's iconic three-story DreamHouse. The initial movie-related products swiftly sold out, prompting the company to plan the release of more products specifically timed for the holiday season. Remarkably, Mattel has solidified over 165 partnerships with various brands and retailers in connection with the movie.
The surge in demand for Barbie merchandise, fueled by the movie's success, is expected to provide a much-needed boost to Mattel's sales in the latter part of the year. The toymaker had previously encountered sluggish industry sales, partly due to cautious consumer spending on discretionary items.
While second-quarter sales fell 12% compared to the previous year, Mattel managed to log a quarterly profit, exceeding expectations for a loss. Anthony DiSilvestro, Mattel's CFO, acknowledged that retailers were still grappling with a backlog of unsold toys from the previous holiday season. However, he expressed optimism, anticipating that consumer demand for their products would pick up significantly, thanks to the "Barbie" movie, as the holiday season approaches.
Amid the runaway success of the "Barbie" movie, speculation arises about the possibility of a sequel. Kreiz responded cautiously to analysts, stating that no official announcements had been made, and it might be premature to discuss sequels. However, he hinted at more opportunities in content creation, not just limited to film but also exploring television and other avenues to engage audiences with an emotional connection to the brand. The overarching goal is to build a flourishing film franchise and continuously expand the Barbie brand in various ways, as success begets success.