Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is on the verge of achieving another remarkable milestone in its historic global box office run. Oppenheimer is poised to claim the title of the highest-grossing biopic in cinematic history, surpassing the 2018 musical sensation, Bohemian Rhapsody, which chronicled the life of legendary musician Freddie Mercury and the iconic band, Queen.
Bohemian Rhapsody achieved immense box office success, raking in $910.8 million against a modest $55 million budget. In contrast, Oppenheimer carried a larger $100 million budget but has now exceeded that box office figure, solidifying its place as the most successful biopic in cinematic history. This accomplishment adds to the numerous accolades the film has garnered since its premiere on July 21.
Oppenheimer narrates the life story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who led the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. This secret research group was entrusted with developing and deploying the world’s first weapon of mass destruction, with the aim of concluding World War II.
The cast includes Cillian Murphy in the titular role of Oppenheimer, alongside acclaimed actors such as Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, Kenneth Branagh, Jason Clarke, Josh Hartnett, Dylan Arnold, Benny Safdie, James D’Arcy, Tony Goldwyn, Olivia Thirlby, and Jack Quaid, among others.
The Rami Malek Connection
Notably, the standout winner in this cinematic showdown is Rami Malek, who appears in both Bohemian Rhapsody and Oppenheimer, albeit in significantly distinct roles in terms of screen time. Malek, renowned for his portrayal of Queen’s Freddie Mercury, clinched his first Academy Award for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody.
In Oppenheimer, Malek’s role as David Hill, one of the scientists deeply influenced by Oppenheimer’s work, is more of a substantial cameo. Nevertheless, his pivotal minutes on screen as Hill play a crucial role in unearthing the conspiracy against Oppenheimer, masterfully portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss in the film. This revelation ultimately led to Strauss losing his nomination as the US Secretary of Commerce.
Oppenheimer continues to draw audiences to IMAX theaters with its practical effects, captivating musical score by Ludwig Göransson, and mesmerizing cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema. Due to ongoing strikes and audience demand, the film is set to return later this year for an extended run.
Widely regarded as Christopher Nolan’s most mature work to date, Oppenheimer showcases a foreboding, dialogue-driven tone, departing from the high-octane spectacle typically associated with the director. Moreover, the film is positioned as a strong contender in the 2024 Oscar race and may finally secure Nolan the coveted Best Director award he has long pursued.