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Cineplex CGX-T says the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon is taking hold in Canada, with nearly 345,000 advance tickets purchased for two of the biggest Hollywood movie releases of the year.

Canada’s largest movie theatre chain says it’s no surprise that moviegoers are eager to see Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” and Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” – two very different but equally anticipated films coming out on Friday.

Quiz: Should you see Barbie or Oppenheimer?

Cineplex says more than 60,000 advance tickets were purchased by moviegoers seeing both films, and 65 per cent of those ticket buyers will watch “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” on the same day.

The excitement over the double feature has been dubbed “Barbenheimer,” as both movies and their box office showdown trend online.

A media analyst recently told The Associated Press that “Barbenheimer” is a “marketing gift borne out of social media” and the hype is benefiting both movies and the studios behind them.

Cineplex says two days before opening “Barbie” had 200,000 ticket presales in Canada and was head-to-head with last year’s box office hit “Avatar: The Way of the Water,” which had more than 215,000 ticket presales.

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