‘Barbenheimer’ is real: How mall cinema chain is promoting two opposite films

July 18, 2023 - 6:19 PM
Margot Robbie as Barbie in Greta Gerwig's "Barbie;" Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer" (Screengrabs from WarnerBrosPictures/YouTube; UniversalPictures/YouTube)

A mall cinema chain edited the caption of its publication material (pubmat) on “Barbenheimer” or “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” after it was called out for not crediting the creator of the artwork.

Twitter user @eanbeefmami on July 15 raised awareness about the Facebook page of SM Cinema and said that its page administrator used an artwork without naming the artist.

“So corny when corporations try to join in on the jokes, hoy @SM_Cinema, at least credit the artist if you’re going to steal fan art just to promote [your] c*ap online services,” the user wrote, tagging the Twitter account of the cinema.

“Anyway, Barbenheimer poster was done by@JustRalphyyy!!!” the user added, accompanying the tweet with a screenshot of the Facebook post before it was edited.

As of writing, the mall cinema chain has already edited its caption to credit the artist who did the “Barbenheimer” poster.

It showed the characters of Margot Robbie as Barbie and Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer shaking hands with each other.

“Barbenheimer is real. Watch #Barbie and #Oppenheimer back-to-back in SM Cinema on July 19!” the mall cinema chain said in its Facebook post.

“Credits to and fan art by Rafael Caban,” it added with a writing hand emoji.

Caban describes himself as a graphic artist and illustrator from Brooklyn, New York.

A look at SM Cinema’s Facebook Edit History shows that the pubmat was initially uploaded on July 14.

At that time, it did not indicate the credit yet.

SM Cinema_Barbenheimer
(Screengrab from SMCinema/Facebook)

By July 16, 9:29 a.m., the post mentioned the name of the artist on its Twitter account.

The edit was finalized late afternoon when it said that the fan art was made by Rafael Caban.

SM Cinema_Barbenheimer_edited
(Screengrab from SMCinema/Facebook)

“Barbenheimer” is the portmanteau that emerged from two diametrically opposed films that will have their world premiere on July 21, 2023 — Greta Gerwig‘s fantasy-comedy “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan‘s epic biographical thriller “Oppenheimer.”

Several memes and posts about the two film’s premieres have earned widespread reactions from the internet, prompting some social media users to call it “Barbenheimer.”

The phenomenon has become viral that shirts and other merchandise with the word “Barbenheimer” have circulated online. It also has its own Wikipedia page.

“Barbie” is a live adaptation of the iconic Mattel fashion doll in a pastel-colored world distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Meanwhile, “Oppenheimer” is a Universal Pictures film that dives deep into the psyche of the scientist behind the world-shattering invention of the atomic bomb.

Both movies do not have absolute similarities with each other except for their global release dates.

READ: Love or hate Barbie? Main trailer for Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ just droppedChristopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’: Rundown of star-studded cast