Margot Robbie’s company behind ‘Barbie’ made $1 billion in just 2 weeks.

Margot Robbie's company behind 'Barbie' made $1 billion in just 2 weeks.

LuckyChap Entertainment: A Female-Forward Production Powerhouse

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Margot Robbie

Hollywood has long been criticized for its lack of strong and complex female characters. However, Margot Robbie, the talented Australian actress, had a different vision. In 2020, she revealed in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, “Every time I pick up a script, I want to play the guy. Wouldn’t it be so cool if people pick up scripts that we’re making and always wanted to play the female role?” And so, sensing a gap in the market, Robbie, alongside her friends Sophia Kerr, Josey McNamara, and her now-husband Tom Ackerly, founded LuckyChap Entertainment – a powerhouse movie production company dedicated to telling stories for and by women.

Guided by the motto “If it’s not a f**k, yes, it’s a no,” LuckyChap Entertainment has quickly grown into an empowering force. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company only greenlights 1% of proposals, ensuring that they only produce the most compelling projects. Among their notable successes are films like “I, Tonya,” “Promising Young Woman,” and “Birds of Prey,” which collectively grossed over $275 million. Their latest production, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” has been an unprecedented success, exceeding $1 billion in box office sales in just two weeks.

However, it’s important to note that for LuckyChap and Margot Robbie, getting rich isn’t the overarching goal. In the same interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Robbie emphasized, “If we were money-oriented people, we’d probably be working in a different industry.” Instead, their focus lies in providing a platform for young directors and women creatives to showcase their talent and transform the industry.

LuckyChap Entertainment’s journey began in 2017 with their release of “I, Tonya,” a film that delved into the story of former figure skater Tonya Harding and her involvement in the attack on her competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. Despite its relatively low budget of $11 million, the film became a global success, earning over $58 million at the box office. Speaking about the film, Robbie shared with Vogue Australia in 2018 that their long-term goal was to have “a very established production company with a varied body of work and hopefully critical acclaim.” Their aspiration was for the company to be recognized as its own entity, rather than simply “Margot Robbie’s company.”

Following the success of “I, Tonya,” LuckyChap Entertainment continued to drive their ambitions forward. The Hollywood Reporter reported that the studio secured deals with Amazon for television and Warner Brothers for film. They went on to produce more female-fronted projects, such as “Birds of Prey,” “Promising Young Woman,” and TV series like “Maid” and “Dollface.” Robbie also utilized LuckyChap Entertainment to greenlight initiatives like a paid six-week writing program for female writers.

Building a successful production company requires immense dedication and sacrifice. In an interview with Vogue, Robbie admitted that running a business can be stressful and time-consuming, causing her to miss out on personal events. However, she expressed that the rewards are also incredibly fulfilling. “Work never feels like work to me,” Robbie explained, highlighting the unique bond she shares with her partners, who are also her closest friends. It is this closeness that they leverage to propel their business forward.

Sticking up for their creatives has become the hallmark of LuckyChap Entertainment, differentiating them from the competition. Director Emerald Fennell, known for her film “Promising Young Woman,” praised the studio, stating, “They stand behind you and don’t care if it gets them into trouble.” Their unwavering support for their artists has opened up new opportunities and allowed for the creation of boundary-pushing films, such as their most recent triumph, “Barbie.”

The idea of a Barbie movie had been circulating since 2009, but it languished in development purgatory among various writers and producers. In 2016, LuckyChap Entertainment seized the project when Margot Robbie expressed interest in taking on the starring role. Robbie emphasized to Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz that her company aimed to respect Barbie’s history while incorporating criticism and surprises. Recognizing the potential, Robbie pitched the idea of Greta Gerwig directing the film, stating that the combination of Barbie and Gerwig would be as iconic as Spielberg and dinosaurs. She even predicted that the movie could make $1 billion.

Taking on the Barbie movie proved to be a considerable challenge for LuckyChap Entertainment. Balancing the legacy of Mattel with Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s pointed script was no easy feat. In an interview with the New York Times, Robbie revealed that the project came with a “laundry list of concerns.” However, LuckyChap gave the writers creative freedom, and no one saw the script until it was complete. With relentless negotiations, including six hours discussing every line and acting out a scene for the president of Mattel, LuckyChap secured the artistic freedom they desired. They even convinced studios to allow them to call Barbie “stereotypical Barbie” and kept a crucial scene that Gerwig identified as the “heart of the movie.” Additionally, they were granted a substantial $150 million marketing budget, ensuring that Barbie’s presence was widespread before its release. These efforts paid off, making “Barbie” this summer’s blockbuster and, most impressively, making Gerwig the first solo-female director to helm a billion-dollar movie.

Looking ahead, LuckyChap Entertainment shows no signs of slowing down. While a Barbie sequel may not be in the works, rumors suggest that the company has several exciting projects in production. These include a body swap movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts, a film adaptation of the beloved Disney ride “Big Thunder Mountain,” an adaptation of the best-selling novel “My Year of Rest and Relaxation,” and other women-driven endeavors. With their clever combination of steadfast support and a laid-back approach, Robbie and her team are forging ahead, continuing to revolutionize the industry one project at a time.

In conclusion, LuckyChap Entertainment, founded by Margot Robbie and her close-knit team, has established itself as a powerhouse in the film industry. Their dedication to creating stories for and by women, along with their unwavering support for their artists, has resulted in critical acclaim and commercial success. By taking on challenging projects like “Barbie,” they have defied industry norms, paving the way for greater inclusivity and pushing boundaries. With an exciting slate of projects on the horizon, LuckyChap Entertainment is poised to continue making a substantial impact and changing the landscape of Hollywood.