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'Barbenheimer' reaches the halls of Congress: Virginia's US Sens. Mark Warner, Tim Kaine mull a double feature

"Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" are two radically different but hyped movies with the same opening day, prompting intense online debate on which to see first.
Credit: Photos by AP
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (Left) and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (Right). Both Democrats represent Virginia in the U.S. Senate.

NORFOLK, Va. — An intense online debate about two radically different but highly-anticipated movies has reached the halls of Congress, and it involves Virginia's U.S. senators.

The debate between Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” kicked off because they share the same opening date of July 21, the Associated Press reports.

Many have taken to social media to point out just how different these expected blockbuster movies are. "Barbie" is the first live-action version of the beloved fashion doll, while "Oppenheimer" is a thriller movie depicting the scientist who helped create nuclear weapons during World War 2.

RELATED: The story behind Barbenheimer, the summer’s most online movie showdown

Because of these differences, people can't decide which one to see first. Should the lighthearted comedy "Barbie" come before the intense "Oppenheimer"? Or should "Barbie" be a palette cleanser for "Oppenheimer"? 

Regardless of the order, many are opting for both on the same day. The National Association of Theatre Owners and AMC Theaters have said that hundreds of thousands of moviegoers in North America are planning to watch a double feature of both movies, according to a report from Deadline.

The online discussion, widely dubbed "Barbenheimer," has prompted a lot of memes, including a tweet that got the attention of U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, the Democrats who represent Virginia and are known for their close working relationship.

"Which of your state’s senators is seeing the Barbie and which is seeing Oppenheimer? (you have to choose)," the tweet read. 

Izzie Taveras tweeted back, picking "Barbie" for Kaine and "Oppenheimer" for Warner.

Warner struck the tone of a peacemaker, saying on Twitter, "No reason we need to be picking sides." He added: "@SenTimKaine double feature?"

However, Kaine, who is usually known for his winsome demeanor, seemed to relish in the selection, citing a Forbes article reporting that "Barbie" is forecasted to beat "Oppenheimer" at the box office.

Former Virginia Education Secretary Anne Holton, who is married to Kaine, chimed in by acknowledging Warner's proposal.

"Let’s take the @MarkWarner challenge and see both," Holton tweeted.

Since the senators' responses came out Wednesday, it's unclear if Kaine and Holton are going to take Warner up on his offer. And if you haven't made up your mind either, check out the trailers for both movies below.


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