HomeTechnologyMattel’s Windfall From ‘Barbie’ Goes Far Beyond Dolls

Mattel’s Windfall From ‘Barbie’ Goes Far Beyond Dolls

When Ynon Kreiz joined Mattel as the CEO in April 2018, his main goal was to bring the Barbie feature film to life, regardless of its impact on doll sales. He wanted the movie to be great, unique, and groundbreaking, even if it meant portraying himself in a comedic and foolish manner. This approach has paid off unexpectedly well, as the film “Barbie” is close to reaching $1.4 billion in revenue, surpassing one of the “Harry Potter” movies as Warner Bros.’ top-grossing film. The financial details of Mattel’s agreement with Warner have not been disclosed, but it is estimated that Mattel earned 5 percent of the box office revenue plus additional payments for merchandise sales and Barbie’s intellectual property rights. The success of “Barbie” has had a significant impact on Mattel’s overall strategy and reputation in the film industry. It has shown that Mattel is capable of attracting top talent and trusting unorthodox creative teams. The film’s self-deprecating and humorous approach has delighted critics and attracted a broader audience than just Barbie fans. Ynon Kreiz’s willingness to embrace the portrayal of himself in the film was unexpected to some, given his strong and serious image. However, his background in media and entertainment made him well-suited for the role of CEO at Mattel. The creation of the “Barbie” movie was a challenging process that had previously lingered at Sony without progress. Ynon Kreiz’s decision to let go of the Sony option and reach out to Margot Robbie was crucial in getting the movie made. Robbie and Kreiz shared a similar vision for the film, and Kreiz’s passion and dedication convinced Robbie to not only star in the film but also bring it to Warner. The addition of Greta Gerwig as the director was unexpected but highly welcomed. Gerwig’s love for Barbies and her ability to create unique and offbeat films like “Frances Ha” and “Lady Bird” made her a perfect fit for the project. Once the main team was established, they took time to develop the script and work on the film in their preferred way. The result was a successful collaboration that exceeded expectations and transformed Mattel’s film production strategy.