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Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer Overtakes Bohemian Rhapsody as Highest-Grossing Biopic Ever
Funnily enough, both movies feature performances by Rami Malek.
After hitting $912 million in ticket sales at the global box office this past weekend, writer-director Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer (currently playing in theaters everywhere) is now the highest-grossing biopic of all time. Bohemian Rhapsody, the 2018 spotlight on the life and career of Freddie Mercury, previously held the record with $910 million.
Funnily enough, Rami Malek (who took home an Academy Award for his moving portrayal of the Queen frontman) appears in both films. Oppenheimer is also the third-biggest release of the year after Barbie ($1.4 billion) and The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($1.3 billion). Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ($845 million) and Fast X ($704 million) currently occupy the fourth and fifth spots.
"It should not be a surprise to anyone that Christopher Nolan would be at the helm of what is now the highest-grossing biopic of all-time," says Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst at Comscore. "Given Nolan's filmmaking reputation and skill, combined with a brilliant cast and an epic moviegoing experience, Oppenheimer is the perfect film to take on this distinction. While not looking like a particularly commercial summer popcorn movie blockbuster, the film took on an almost mythic status as a must-see event in the movie theater, bolstered by a bit of that unexpected "Barbenheimer" magic that sent shock waves through the zeitgeist. Nolan is truly in a class of his own."
What is Oppenheimer, the highest-grossing biopic ever, all about?
Drawing from Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, American Prometheus, the biopic chronicles the origins of the world's first atomic weapon built during World War II, through the eyes of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (played onscreen by longtime Nolan collaborator, Cillian Murphy).
Oppenheimer served as lead scientist on the top-secret Manhattan Project, whose clandestine efforts led to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. The "Father of the Atomic Bomb" ultimately came to regret his creation, prompting the U.S. government to unceremoniously strip Oppenheimer of his security clearance and paint him as a Communist traitor in the years following the war. Those charges weren't recanted until last year.
Written, directed, and produced by Nolan, Oppenheimer features a knockout supporting cast, which includes Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Josh Hartnett, Robert Downey Jr., Matthew Modine, Casey Affleck, Benny Safdie, Josh Peck, Florence Pugh, Kenneth Branagh, Jason Clarke, Jack Quaid, David Krumholtz, Gary Oldman, and more.
When will Oppenheimer be available to watch at home?
Universal Pictures has yet to announce a digital (or physical) release date for the movie, but who could blame them? Why yank the movie out of theaters when it continues to perform at the box office? When the title does come to streaming, however, look for it to eventually land on NBCUniversal's own Peacock streaming service.
Oppenheimer is now playing in theaters everywhere. Click here for tickets! The film currently holds a near-perfect score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, sitting alongside Nolan's Memento and just below The Dark Knight.