After weeks of controversy and delay, VOX Cinemas, the distributor of the 'Barbie' film in Lebanon, announced Sunday in an Instagram post that the long-awaited movie will be released in its cinemas on Sept. 7. The Barbie movie was was released in July in the United States and in Europe.
Lebanon's other major film distributor, Grand Cinemas, also announced the film's release on its networks on Friday evening.
Under VOX Cinemas' instagram announcement, the comments were unanimous: ''Finally!''
Many instagram users also scoffed: "We've already watched it on streaming."
On Thursday, Aug. 31, on the date originally set for the films release in the country, a Grand Cinemas employee told L'Orient Today that Barbie was postponed until Sept. 7 "on a provisional basis."
In July, the release date of the film in Lebanon and many Gulf countries was postponed.
References to the film, which was due to be released in Lebanon "from August 31," were then removed from the websites and social media accounts of VOX and Grand Cinemas.
At the beginning of August, the film grossed more than $1.03 billion worldwide, according to estimates by Exhibitor Relations.
That same month, Lebanese caretaker Minister of Culture Mohamad Mortada asked General Security, via the Ministry of the Interior, to ban the film. According to Mortada, the film "goes against Lebanon's moral and religious values, as it encourages perversion and gender transformation while calling for the rejection of patriarchy and ridiculing the role of mothers."
Many took to social media in response to the Minister's call: some welcomed the call for censorship and others opposed it.
Lebanon's Film Censorship Committee, made up of representatives from several ministries and attached to the General Security, told L'Orient-Le Jour on Aug. 11 that it had no reason to call for a ban on the Barbie movie.
The delayed release was greeted with disappointment and confusion by many Lebanese. Many even organized private screenings of pirated versions of the film.