Melinda Sue Gordon / © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection
Christopher Nolan’s dark historical epic “Oppenheimer” was another blockbuster at the box office with worldwide sales of $850 million.
The film, which stars Cillian Murphy as the “Father of the Atomic Bomb”, has grossed $311 million in North America and $542.7 million internationally to date. The film continues to shatter expectations, especially for a bleak R-rated biographical historical drama that unfolds largely in the bleak rooms of fast-talking scientists and politicians. At this rate, the $900 million mark is within reach and $1 billion closer than box office watchers ever expected. It cost $100 million to produce and would be very profitable for Universal, which backed the film, as well as Nolan.
Seven weeks after its release, “Oppenheimer” became Nolan’s third-biggest film of all time, ahead of “The Beginning” ($837 million) and behind “The Dark Knight” ($1 billion) and “The Dark Knight Rises” ($1.08 billion). . . It is the highest-grossing film for a director of all time in 59 overseas markets, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, India, Brazil, Spain, Italy and Saudi Arabia.
It’s also the third-highest-grossing release of the year after “Barbie” ($1.36 billion) and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($1.35 billion), managing to overtake new installments in blockbuster franchises like Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” Vol. 3 ($845 million) and Fast X ($704 million).
Some other milestones: It’s Universal’s highest-grossing R-rated movie (and the studio’s first to hit $300 million R-rated) at the domestic box office, as well as the year’s biggest R-rated movie before “John Wick.” Chapter Four” ($187 million). In North America, “Oppenheimer” managed to stay in the top five of the box office charts for seven consecutive weeks. This is quite an accomplishment at any time, but especially so during the busy summer months.
“Oppenheimer” was a hit at Imax grossing $170 million worldwide from premium format screens. It’s the fifth-highest-grossing Imax movie of all time – and the top four were the $2 billion blockbuster “Avatar” and its sequel “The Way of Water,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Avengers: Endgame.” In China, “Oppenheimer” opened this week with $9.3 million from IMAX screens and a total of $30.5 million.
“In an impressive debut in China, Oppenheimer’s film has shown that he is nowhere near done wowing audiences around the world with his bold and uncompromising vision,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax.
Nolan adapted Oppenheimer from the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus. The story follows the theoretical physicist who led the development of the atomic bomb that helped end World War II. Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh and Alden Ehrenreich round out the group.