Oppenheimer just dubbed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the world rankings. The 2023 podium now consists of Barbie, Super Mario Bros. and him.
While barbie broke record after record, the success ofOppenheimer, released at the same time, was a little more discreet. But after almost two months in theaters, Christopher Nolan’s biopic of the father of the atomic bomb finally made a huge splash.
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In the shadow of Greta Gerwig’s comedy, Oppenheimer became in August the biggest success in the history of American cinema not to never been at the top of the rankings. A strange record, which was held until now by All on stagethe animated film released at the end of 2016 opposite Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Then this drama entered the top 100 in the country, with more than 300 million dollars collected domestically. An impressive score for an adult film (it is stamped R-Rated in the United States, or prohibited for under 17s unaccompanied by an adult), with such a serious subject, focusing more on dialogue than action and shot partly in black and white. Within this top, we find around it mainly popular sagas: sequels to Star Wars Or Harry PotterMarvel episodes or Disney animated films (Zootopia, Vice Versa…), Dreamworks (Shrek) or Illumination (Minions). In short, big-budget family productions.
Recently, the most telling milestone reached by Oppenheimer is the following: thanks to more than 850 million dollars in cumulative revenue worldwide, the film doubled Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on the planet. Stronger than the last Marvel, it thus became the third biggest success of 2023 in the world, behind barbie And Super Mario Bros.both billionaires.
This trio impresses box office specialists because they are three original works. Certainly, the first two are taken from successful licenses: toys from Mattel and video games from Nintendo, and Oppenheimer is interested in a significant figure in history, but such a top 3 had not happened for more than 20 years! You have to go back to 2001 to find a global box office podium containing no sequel.
Because that year, it was in fact the first saga opuses that were at the top of the rankings: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring And Monsters and Co.. Then we found Shrek And Ocean’s Eleven in the rest of the top 5. Either blockbusters that all had the right to sequels!
To find a top 3 without sequels, whose films were not then turned into a saga, we have to go back a little further in time. Twenty-five years ago, these were Armageddon, Saving Private Ryan And Godzilla which were at the top of the biggest hits on the planet.
Since that date, it’s mainly sequels that have broken box office records. Last year for example, the podium was only composed of n°2 or 3 of a saga: Avatar The Way of Water, Top Gun: Maverick And Jurassic World: The World After.
Previously, there was Spider-Man: No Way Homewith $1.9 billion raised in 2021, Bad Boys for Life was in the top 3 of the 2020 box office, turned upside down by the Covid epidemic, with less than 500 million, Avengers: Endgame And Frozen II were a hit in 2019 (year when 9 top 10 films were billionaires!), five years ago, these are Avengers: Infinity War And Jurassic World: Fallen Kindom which reigned, surrounding the first opus of Black Panther…. We can therefore go back like this to 2001, finding at least one sequel on the podium each year.
2023 is not over, so this trio could still change, but that does not detract from the success of the historical drama. how far will go Oppenheimer at the global box office? Probably up to 900 million dollars, because barely released in China, it has already collected 30 million in its first weekend.
Note that if it reaches this new level, it will not be the biggest success of its creator, since The Dark Knight and its sequel were billionaires in 2008 and 2012. But they were sequels. From a superheroic franchise.
There, the success of the new Christopher Nolan was based on its name, its strong subject and its five-star casting (Cillian Murphy, Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr…). The film also benefited from its unlikely competition with barbie. The phenomenon “Barbenheimer” having pushed many spectators to see these two very different films in “dual feature”the success of one benefited the other, and vice versa.
A “Barbenheimer” film is really going to see the light of day!