UK: The summer spectacle of Barbie vs. Oppenheimer
July 20th, 2023, YouGov

UK: The summer spectacle of Barbie vs. Oppenheimer

The cinematic showdown between Christopher Nolan’s dark drama, Oppenheimer, and Greta Gerwig’s whimsical fantasy Barbie movie will hit the big screen on 21 July.

Fans in the UK are gearing up for the blockbuster weekend and their excitement is almost palpable. In fact, the internet has already embraced the fusion of these two vastly different movies and dubbed the cinematic event “Barbenheimer” — a term that encapsulates the hype and cultural zeitgeist behind the simultaneous release of the two movies.

According to a recent YouGov survey, 34% of UK adults would be interested in watching the biographical account of Robert Oppenheimer and the historical retelling of the nuclear bomb’s development. Separately, one in 10 (10%) UK adults look forward to the frothy and fun fantasy comedy based on the Barbie fashion dolls.

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Another 10% are excited about both Oppenheimer and Barbie, signalling there’s room for both serious drama and light-hearted comedy in the hearts of moviegoers.

Decoding Barbie and Oppenheimer fans

Using YouGov Profiles, an advanced audience intelligence tool, we cross-referenced people’s viewing preferences with previous YouGov Surveys to delve deeper into the demographics, lifestyle preferences, perceptions of advertising and consumer behaviours of each movie’s respective fans.

What we found is that it’s not just the movies themselves that are unique; our survey data reveals that the fans they draw are also one-of-a-kind.

Download the full Profile Peek for further insights into Barbie vs. Oppenheimer fans

Below is a quick summary of how Barbie fans (that is, people who would rather watch only Barbie) stand out from Oppenheimer fans (i.e., people who would only watch Oppenheimer).


  • Barbie fans tend to be younger, with 67% aged 18-39 (vs. 29% of Oppenheimer fans).
  • There are also clear gender divides, with two-thirds of Barbie fans being women (66% vs. 31% of Oppenheimer fans). Similarly, Oppenheimer fans tend to be men (69% vs. 34% of Barbie fans).
  • 17% of Barbie fans identify as LGBTQ+, nearly twice the share of Oppenheimer fans who say the same (7%).

Interests and hobbies

  • Barbie fans’ interests tend to skew towards people/celebrities (43% vs. 20%), beauty (26% vs. 9%), fashion/design (25% vs. 9%), education (24% vs. 18%) and religion/spirituality (17% vs. 12%).
  • On the other hand, Oppenheimer fans tend to be interested in national news (50% vs. 29%), science (42% vs. 21%), politics (36% vs. 18%), and travel/holidays (42% vs. 39%).

Advertising attitudes

  • Barbie fans seem to be more receptive to advertising, with 52% say they are influenced by brand emails and 45% saying they often search for things after seeing them advertisements on posters and billboards (vs. 29% and 30% of Oppenheimer fans respectively).
  • Barbie fans can be powerful brand/product evangelists. Seven in 10 (70%) say they love recommending things for people to try, something that only 47% of Oppenheimer fans agree with.
  • More than half (52%) of Oppenheimer fans are sceptical of brands expressing their political/social views and think that brands are just trying to exploit the issues (vs. 43% of Barbie fans).

Download the full Profile Peek into Barbie and Oppenheimer audiences to discover more.

  • How often do they go to the movies and which cinemas are they considering?
  • What are their views on the environment, beverages, shopping and British businesses?
  • How do they spend their time on social media?

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