Start the day with the darker fare: Christopher Nolan’s moody “Oppenheimer,” about the physicist who ran the Los Alamos Laboratory during the development of the atomic bomb. A morning screening is best, so you can get some fresh air, some sustenance other than Milk Duds, clear your head before Greta Gerwig’s “revival fantasy,” “Barbie,” the second half of the double feature known, for better or worse, as “Barbenheimer.”

“Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” two of the biggest movies of the summer, premiered yesterday, and, for 100 years, breathless DIYers and discriminating moviegoers have been debating the correct order in which to see the films back-to-back. The most sensible move seems to be darkness before light, or as one Barbenheimer told The Times in an email, “My friends and I in Chicago spend our day at the Alamo Drafthouse and see the movies as the Lord himself intended: ‘Oppenheimer’ at 10 with a black coffee / ‘Barbie’ at 4:20 pm with a large Diet Coke.”

Will Barbenheimer be the key, more than three years since the pandemic began, to bring fans back to theaters? The film industry hopes so. Ticket sales for the year in the United States and Canada are down about 20 percent from the same period in 2019. Analysts predict that “Barbie” could take $100 million domestically by Sunday; “Oppenheimer” about 50 million USD.

With fans tiring of the typical summer fare of new installments of old franchises, the studios behind the two films “got into original movies, directed by famous auteurs with an interest in pushing the envelope,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior analyst at Comscore, which compiles box office data, told The Times. “These are not the proven safe bets that are the hallmark of the summer movie season,” he said. Will the gambles pay off?

The real die-hards, of course, called in sick and admitted Barbenheimer yesterday. If you’re one of them, I hope you went all out and dressed up, flannel suit followed by neon roller skating (or vice versa). Even if the prospect of spending an entire day at the movies seems excessive – too expensive, too commercial, too much sitting, too little vitamin D – you have to admit that the excitement surrounding the double bill is refreshing.

When so much time is spent staring into our own devices, each of us glued to our own little screens, a surge of enthusiasm for group viewing feels almost quaint, a holdover from a time before we could carefully tailor all our entertainment to our own interests. I don’t care too much about whether I like these movies. I’m just looking forward to co-creating an experience, being a member of a cheering audience for a day, laughing and clapping and cheering as one.

  • Which movie should you see? Take our quiz.

  • “I didn’t play a character who had been on that classic hero’s journey before.” An interview with Margot Robbie, who plays Barbie, and her co-star Ryan Gosling, who plays Ken.

  • “I love to act with my body, and Oppenheimer had a very distinct physicality and silhouette that I wanted to get right.” Cillian Murphy on playing Robert Oppenheimer.

  • How the Hollywood strikes made the releases of the films difficult.

  • Nolan spoke to veteran Times science reporter Dennis Overbye about why Oppenheimer was the most important person who ever lived.

  • Judge Aileen Cannon has set a May 2024 start date for Donald Trump’s classified documents trial.

  • Russia has deepened its attack on Ukraine’s food exports, attacking ports for the fourth straight night and holding naval exercises in the Black Sea.

  • Major tech companies, including Google and OpenAI, agreed to AI development safeguards under pressure from the White House.

  • The president of Texas A&M University has resigned after receiving pushback over the work a newly appointed director of its journalism program has done promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing criticism for Florida’s new Black History standards, which teach students that enslaved people developed skills that “can be applied for their personal benefit.”

? “Jim Gaffigan: Dark Pale” (Tuesday): Comedian Jim Gaffigan is one of the kings of dad humor – that is, humor about what it means to be a middle-aged parent (in his case, of five). His latest special will be available to stream on Prime Video.

? “The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet” (Out now): It’s terrible out there, with record temperatures around the world. In his new book, Jeff Goodell – who previously wrote a book about climate change and rising waters – details how extreme heat affects our bodies and communities, and what the future is likely to look like. (It’s not great.)

For a no-cook recipe that’s the perfect combo of cooling and rich, look no further than Ali Slagle’s. cucumber-avocado salad. She uses some clever techniques to make the most of the five ingredients here, like salting the cucumbers first to concentrate their flavor, and soaking the scallions in ice water to crisp them up. Then, right at the end, she briskly tosses the avocado cubes into the salad to break them up, making the lemon dressing extra creamy. Serve this as is for a side dish or light meal. Or spruce it up with any combination of cheese, toasted nuts, herbs, halved cherry tomatoes, radishes and candied eggs for something more satisfying but just as summery.

Stealth wealth: In contrast to the genteel 80s, today’s wealthiest people downplay the excessive luxuries they consume.

Heat readiness: Traveling to Europe? Follow these tips to protect yourself in high temperatures.

Focus the mind: Ease your way into meditation with five minutes every morning.

Demystifying transition: These seven books help you learn to get through menopause.

Looking to perfect homemade ice cream? A few touches can turn a failed science experiment into a delicious dessert. First, chill your ingredients and supplies – the liquid ice cream base, any mixes, the machine paddle and even the storage containers. If you’re using an ice cream that requires a frozen element, like Wirecutter’s top recommendation, let it freeze completely before piping. Go for good quality dairy products. If you choose non-dairy, mix in complementary flavors like peanut butter with cashew milk or rose with coconut cream. Your ice cream is done when it reaches a soft-serve consistency. Do you prefer harder ice cream? Put it in the freezer. – Mace Dent Johnson

England v Haiti, Women’s World Cup: The United States is the favorite to win this World Cup, but victory seems less certain than in past tournaments. First, this American team may fail what Rory Smith calls “the Goldilocks test” — many of its best players are either too old or too young. And the rest of the world continues to improve: England won last summer’s European championship, Canada won gold at the last Olympics, and Spain’s roster is built mostly from the best club team, Barcelona. “This is definitely the most open World Cup in history,” said Janine Beckie, a forward for Canada. Re-airs at 11 am Eastern on FS2.

  • The U.S. women beat Vietnam, 3-0, including two goals from Sophia Smith, a 22-year-old forward playing in her first World Cup match.

  • Here is the schedule of the tournament. Since it’s in Australia and New Zealand, a lot of it will happen in the middle of the night in the US

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