In just three weeks in theaters, Barbie is expected to exceed $1 billion in ticket sales worldwide, breaking a record for female directors that was previously held by Patty Jenkins, who filmed Wonder Woman.

Barbie, which Greta Gerwig directed and co-wrote, added an additional 53 million from 4,178 North American locations over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. The film, produced in particular by Margot Robbie, has been comfortably installed in first place for three weeks at the box office, and it is not over. Warner Bros. said the film’s gross would top $1 billion before the end of the day.

In modern box office history, only 53 films have grossed more than $1 billion, not accounting for inflation, and Barbie is now the biggest hit by a single woman, surpassing the worldwide total of 821.8 million Wonder Woman. Three films co-directed by women are still ahead of Barbie: Frozen (1.3 billion) and Frozen 2 (1.45 billion) both co-directed by Jennifer Lee, and Captain Marvel (1.1 billion) , co-directed by Anna Boden. But Barbie surpassed Captain Marvel nationally with 459.4 million (from 426.8 million), claiming the North American record for live-action films directed by women.

New competition arrived this weekend with the animated film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and the second film in Jason Statham’s shark series, Meg 2: The Trench, which were both neck and neck with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, also in his third weekend, for second place.

Meg 2 managed to sneak past and land in second place. It overcame a disastrous critical reception to score an opening weekend of 30 million from 3,503 theaters. The Warner Bros. outing, directed by Ben Wheatley, currently has a 29% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and a B rating on CinemaScore. The action movie was released in 3D, which accounted for 22% of its first-weekend activity.

Third place went to Oppenheimer, which added 28.7 million from 3,612 sites in North America, bringing its national total to 228.6 million. In just three weeks, the J. Robert Oppenheimer biopic, starring Cillian Murphy, became the highest-grossing R-rated (Restricted) film of the year (ahead of John Wick Chapter 4) and the sixth-highest-grossing of the year. in total, surpassing Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Oppenheimer also celebrated a milestone, crossing 500 million worldwide in three weeks. Its worldwide tally currently stands at 552.9 million, putting it ahead of Dunkirk, which recorded 527 million in 2017, and became Nolan’s fifth-biggest film. It is also among the four highest-grossing biographies of all time behind Bohemian Rhapsody, The Passion of the Christ and American Sniper and the greatest WWII film of all time.

Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was close behind in fourth place, with an estimated 28 million from 3,858 theaters in North America. Since its opening on Wednesday, the film, which is surfing to excellent reviews (96% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audience scores, has grossed 43.1 million.

Barbie, Oppenheimer, and even the surprise anti-trafficker hit Sound of Freedom (now at 163.5 million and ahead of Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One) helped fuel a box office boom, grossing several million more than expected and helping compensate for the pain caused by certain summer disappointments.

“After The Flash, Indiana Jones, and to some degree Mission: Impossible, people were saying the summer had been a disappointment. But it’s not over yet, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. We’re going to have a summer that’s going to come out on a high. »

However, the moment of triumph for the industry will likely be short-lived if studios don’t reach a deal with actors and writers soon. The fall release schedule has already tightened, with some studios pushing the release of movies until 2024, instead of trying to promote them without movie stars.